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Amarantus Inks Alzheimer's Biomarker Test Deal with Anavex

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Amarantus BioScience Holdings today said that it has signed a deal to provide biomarker test services to Anavex Life Sciences for studies of that firm's Alzheimer's drug candidate.

Under the deal, Amarantus will use its LymPro Test to evaluate the pharmacodynamic effect of Anavex 2-73 and Anavex Plus on the expression of the biomarker CD69 in specific sub-populations of peripheral blood lymphocytes.

The LymPro (Lymphocyte Proliferation) test uses peripheral blood lymphocytes as a surrogate for neuronal cell function to evaluate the expression of CD69 in Alzheimer's disease patients. Anavex is currently evaluating Anavex 2-73 and Anavex Plus, which is a combination of Anavex 2-73 and donepezil (Aricept), in a Phase IIa study.

The firms also said they have entered into a letter of intent for Amarantus to assist Anavex in planning the scope of the blood-based biomarker components of the potential Phase III study of the therapies.

Anavex is Amarantus' first customer for Alzheimer's biomarker services using the LymPro test, according to Amarantus CEO Gerald Commissiong. "We are currently in active discussions with both emerging and large pharma companies as we work to build a significant customer base for blood-based biomarker services in Alzheimer's disease, with the ultimate shared goal of improving the current standard of care used to treat AD," he added.

Amarantus recently signed an option agreement with Georgetown University that could eventually give the firm an exclusive license to six blood-based biomarkers related to Alzheimer's disease and memory loss.

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