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Satoris to Launch Alzheimer's Test

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While proteomics holds promise as a technology that could potentially help in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, no one has yet been able to translate proteins into a predictive tool for the debilitating ailment.

But a small molecular diagnostics firm, Satoris, is trying to change that. Its chief executive says the company's protein-based Alzheimer's test may be ready to hit the market by the end of the year.

The company is currently collaborating with the Mayo Clinic to validate results from a study published late last year. The validation work is expected to be completed in September and, depending on the results, it could clear the way for Satoris to hit the market with two Alzheimer's protein panels within the next few months, says Cris McReynolds, president and chief executive officer of Satoris.

Both panels are based on work published in the fall in Nature Medicine, in which researchers, including those from Satoris, found 18 proteins associated with Alzheimer's.

In that study, researchers looked at 259 archived blood samples ranging from patients who had no symptoms to those who had advanced Alzheimer's. The resulting 18-protein panel had both sensitivity and specificity of about 90 percent and was able to "pick out the Alzheimer's from a population of dementia and to properly identify those who had AD," according to McReynolds.

Authors of the study also say that the panel was able to identify patients with mild cognitive impairment who eventually were diagnosed with Alzheimer's two to six years later, but McReynolds says it is not clear whether that means the panel is predictive of the disease or that it is only "able to detect the early disease process associated with AD." Though mild cognitive impairment is believed to be a possible precursor to Alzheimer's, some patients with it do not develop Alzheimer's.

Tony Fong

Proteomics Notes

The Proteomics Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities is recruiting volunteers to be part of a study looking at different ways to determine quantitative differences in several proteins in six human plasma samples.

Miraculins will buy a portfolio of biomarkers from Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital to develop a diagnostic for pre-eclampsia. Miraculins recently shifted its focus from proteomics research and development to diagnostics development.

George Mason University scientists partnered with Fairfax-Northern Virginia Hematology Oncology to determine the protein signaling pathways involved in multiple myeloma.

Datapoint

$90 Billion
Annual revenue from General Electric's technology infrastructure unit, which will now include GE Healthcare.

Funded Grants

$46,826/FY 2008
Novel Mass Spectrometer for Comprehensive No-Loss MS/MS of All Stored Ions
Grantee: Sunnie Myung, Rockefeller University
Began: Jan. 1, 2008; Ends: Dec. 31, 2010

Myung plans to optimize high-capacity ion trap mass spectrometers by isolating the pressure within the ion trap and changing the geometry of the trap to increase resolution. Furthermore, she will couple an orthogonal injection reflectron TOP mass analyzer to the high-capacity ion trap. Then she will use the instrument to study abnormal levels of protein phosphorylation in cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

$78,500/FY 2008
Intracellular mycobacterial proteome
Grantee: Qingbo Li, University of Illinois at Chicago
Began: Apr. 1, 2008; Ends Mar. 31, 2009

Li plans to investigate the proteome of M. tuberculosis H37Rv found within human and murine macrophages using liquid chromatography/linear ion trap-Fourier transform mass spectrometry. Then he will compare those proteomes to identify the active intermediary metabolism pathway, particularly focusing on the half tricarboxylic acid cycles. Li says this may help researchers understand the intracellular persistence of mycobacteria.

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