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Skuldtech Receives $1.3M for Alzheimer's Dx Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – French biomarker firm Skuldtech today announced it has been awarded €1 million ($1.3 million) in funding to support work on developing diagnostic tests for an Alzheimer's drug in development.

The funding is from Bpifrance, a French public financing structure, and is part of a project on Alzheimer's that has received €8.6 million in total funding. The program, Skuldtech said, is anticipated to last four years with the first results expected in 2018.

The funding to Skuldtech will go toward the use of the company's broadband sequencing-based technology platform, paired with proprietary bioinformatics and biostatistics programs, to measure and confirm the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Skuldtech plans to develop a companion diagnostic for AB Science's masitinib molecule, which is in a Phase III trial.

It also will develop a diagnostic for predicting Alzheimer's progression.

Skuldtech will use blood samples from the masitinib trial to identify biomarkers with diagnostic applications with the aim of developing tests that can be used to tailor treatments for patients and to monitor them as their disease progresses. The masitinib clinical trial was launched in May and is expected to include 400 patients.

Skuldtech said that it was successful in using the same approach to develop a treatment for pancreatic cancer that combined gemcitabine with masitinib. In that case, the company identified new biomarkers that predicted favorable response to the treatment.

"This new partnership to work on Alzheimer's disease will strengthen Skuldtech's position in the field of personalized medicine and in the development of companion diagnostics associated with new treatments in phases of clinical trials," Skuldtech CEO Didier Ritter said in a statement.