PreCyte and CIDR Announce $300k SBIR Phase I Funding for the Application of the Indicator Cell Assay Platform (iCAP) to Drug Selection for Alzheimer’s Disease

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PreCyte, Inc. a developer of innovative diagnostic tests for neurodegenerative and other diseases, and the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) announced today that the National Institute of Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded PreCyte a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to support application of the company's targeted diagnostic technology, the indicator cell assay platform (iCAP) to the rational selection of drug candidates for Alzheimer’s disease.

PreCyte, Inc. a developer of innovative diagnostic tests for neurodegenerative and other diseases, and the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR) announced today that the National Institute of Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded PreCyte a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to support application of the company's targeted diagnostic technology, the indicator cell assay platform (iCAP) to the rational selection of drug candidates for Alzheimer’s disease. The award will provide PreCyte with approximately $300k. In ongoing studies performed by PreCyte and its collaborators at CIDR, and supported in part by the NIA, a novel tool for diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease called the indicator cell assay platform (iCAP) is being developed that uses standardized cultured neurons as biosensors to detect the disease status of patients from blood or cerebral spinal fluid samples. The present award will support a new application of the iCAP to evaluate FDA-approved drugs as candidates for treating early-stage AD using archived plasma and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) samples. The analysis will be conducted in collaboration with CIDR and leading academic centers.

“We are very enthusiastic about this application, which will initiate our long-term goals of establishing the iCAP as a robust tool for drug selection that can be integrated into drug-testing pipelines, and identifying new drugs to prevent, cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.” said Jennifer Smith, PhD, CSO of PreCyte. “As the assay generates personal signatures for individual patients, we anticipate that the fully developed iCAP will have capability to rapidly assess patient-specific drug effects for precision medicine without the need for generating patient-derived neurons.”

"We do not have any treatments to prevent, cure or even slow progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Using the iCAP as a cell-based model to select candidate FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drugs is a promising path to accelerate identifying a treatment.” said Robert Lipshutz, PhD, CEO of PreCyte. “We greatly appreciate the additional support of the NIH. This funding strengthens our ability to collaborate with key opinion leaders in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, and to demonstrate a new utility of the iCAP in drug selection. We look forward to our continued collaboration with CIDR and other leading clinical centers.”

“We are excited by the opportunity to make an impact in Alzheimer’s drug discovery and look forward to working with PreCyte on this innovative application of the iCAP.” said Prof. John Aitchison, Ph.D., president of CIDR.

About iCAP
The indicator cell assay platform (iCAP) is analogous to the early pregnancy test in which, without knowing what to look for, the patient’s blood or urine was injected into a rabbit and readout was the response of the rabbit’s ovaries to the sample. In the iCAP, patient serum is applied to specifically selected standardized indicator cells and the response of the cells provides the readout. The indicator cell assay exploits cells’ natural capability to amplify and integrate multi-analyte signals. The assay has been demonstrated to be 94% accurate for the detection of ALS in a murine model, and in preliminary studies the assay had 69% sensitivity and 91% specificity classifying early-stage Alzheimer’s disease from normal samples.

About PreCyte
PreCyte is a privately held molecular diagnostics company focused on developing minimally invasive tests for the early detection and monitoring of neurodegenerative disease and cancer. http://www.precyte.net

About CIDR
CIDR is a non-profit biomedical research institute founded in 1976 and focused on global health and infectious disease. Since 2012 and under the direction of current president, John Aitchison, the organization specializes in applying and developing systems biology approaches to infectious disease. They are committed to impacting human health through innovation and a global perspective of disease mechanisms. Since 1976, CIDR has grown to a staff of about 250, which includes 13 faculty members and laboratory groups.

Please Note: This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events. These statements are just predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual events or results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: the results, timing, costs and regulatory review of our studies and clinical trials; the results of studies of our product candidates conducted by others; our ability to obtain future funding on acceptable terms; our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates; the possible impairment of, or inability to obtain, intellectual property rights; and innovation by our competitors. The content is solely the responsibility of the company and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Robert Lipshutz
PreCyte
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