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UK’s Cytox introduces new genetic biomarker test to assess Alzheimer’s disease

MDBR Staff Writer Published 25 July 2016

UK-based Cytox has introduced new variaTECT genetic biomarker test to assess the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The variaTECT SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) array provides a simple blood-based research test, which will be used in the research and novel drug discovery studies.

It will also enable users in the pharmaceutical industry to reduce the screening failure rate in determining amyloid positive subjects for recruitment into clinical trials.

Developed in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Affymetrix, the array will be available to customers as Axiom dementia research array, which includes variaTECT SNP panel designed on an Affymetrix Axiom genotyping array and processed on an Affymetrix GeneTitan multi-channel instrument.

According to Cytox, the assay has been developed in conjunction with its SNPfitR software and polygenic risk score algorithm.

A Cytox-led consortium received funding from the Innovate UK agency in the last year to develop the assay. It partnered with researchers across the globe to analyse and test the panel on highly characterised patient populations in validation studies.

Cytox CEO Dr Richard Pither said: "The variaTECT array can be used together with our new SNPfitR software to enrich amyloid-positive cohorts and so reduce screening failure rates in early symptomatic (Mild Cognitive Impairment – MCI) and pre-symptomatic subject groups.

“After many disappointments and failures in drug trials, pharma companies have a need for earlier stage subjects for inclusion in clinical trials – these are hard to find.

“variaTECT SNP testing and SNPfitR analysis is easy to administer and provides a high degree of accuracy; in doing so, it dramatically reduces the screening failure rate and current associated costs of testing for amyloid positivity using PET amyloid or CSF examinations, which are not well-suited for high volume screening.”

Image: Cytox’s new variaTECT genetic biomarker test has been developed to assess Alzheimer’s disease. Photo: courtesy of Cytox Ltd.