Spartan Bioscience Announces First Rapid APOE Genetic Test to Accelerate Clinical Drug Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease

Share Article

Portable DNA-testing device allows rapid identification and clinical trial enrollment of patients carrying APOE mutations

The Spartan Cube is the world's smallest molecular diagnostics device.

We need to collaborate as a medical industry in order to progress research and advance treatment of complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.The Spartan Cube can help make this innovation possible. — Paul Lem, M.D., CEO of Spartan Bioscience

Spartan Bioscience today announced the first rapid Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genetic test to identify mutations associated with increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The Spartan Cube test provides results in 30 minutes from a patient-friendly non-invasive cheek swab.

The Spartan Cube, the world’s smallest DNA-testing device, is the fastest way to identify patients to enroll in clinical trials or research studies based on their genetics. One-in-four people carry APOE genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.(1) These genetic carriers can be ideal clinical trial candidates, and the Cube can accelerate the identification and enrollment of these patients.(2) For example, the Spartan Cube enables patient testing in doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics or even nursing homes.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than five million patients in the United States.(3) With an aging baby boomer population, this number will increase significantly, barring a medical breakthrough in treatment or prevention. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple from 5.2 million to 13.8 million in the United States alone.(4)

Despite extensive research attempts, almost no drug candidates have succeeded in clinical trials. A 2014 study showed that over a 10-year period, more than 400 clinical trials took place for Alzheimer’s disease with only one new medication being approved—a 99.4 percent failure rate.(5) One factor for this failure rate is the difficulty researchers face when enrolling patients. Preventative studies require patients who do not show symptoms, and treatment studies require participants who may be already suffering from reduced decision-making abilities associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Paul Lem, M.D., CEO of Spartan Bioscience, says Spartan wants to partner with doctors and researchers conducting clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease.

“We need to collaborate as a medical industry in order to progress research and advance treatment of complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Lem. “The Spartan Cube is a portable and convenient DNA-testing device that can help streamline genetic identification and patient enrollment, putting clinical trials on the fast track and making this innovation possible.”

Spartan Bioscience is showcasing the Spartan Cube at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) from July 24-27, 2016 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada.

For more information about the Spartan Cube, visit

About Spartan Bioscience: Spartan Bioscience's mission is to bring the power of DNA testing to everyone. Spartan's molecular diagnostics platform fully integrates DNA collection, extraction, and analysis in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. Spartan’s sample-to-result technology enables unprecedented portability and convenience in applications such as infectious disease, pharmacogenetics, and food and water safety testing.

1. NIH Office of Science Education. (2009). Alzheimer’s disease and genetic testing: Relevant facts. Retrieved from
2. Petersen RC et al. (2005). New England Journal of Medicine. 352(23):2379-2388.
3. National Institute on Aging. About Alzheimer's disease: Alzheimer's basics. Retrieved from
4. Alzheimer’s Association. (2016). Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Retrieved from
5. Cummings JL. (2014). Alzheimer's Research & Therapy. 6(4):37.

Note: The Spartan Cube is for research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Rachel Collier, Director of Communications
Spartan Bioscience Inc.
+1 (613) 228-7756 Ext: 1
Email >
Follow >
Spartan Bioscience
Like >
Spartan Bioscience

Visit website