NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Diamir today announced that it has received a two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to further develop its microRNA-based diagnostic for Alzheimer's disease and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Founded in 2009, Diamir's core technology involves the detection and analysis of miRNAs in plasma, and the company has thus far been focused on linking miRNA signatures with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Early last year, the company published data showing that it could detect members of the miR-132 and miR-134 miRNA families in plasma and use their expression to identify patients with MCI with up to 96 percent accuracy.
With the new NIH funding, which totals approximately $1.5 million, Diamir is aiming to validate these findings in a larger set of archives and prospectively collected plasma samples in collaboration with academic centers.
"There is a great clinical need to develop minimally invasive and effective methods to identify individuals at higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia at asymptomatic or early stages," Diamir CSO Samuil Umansky said in a statement. "Early disease detection could facilitate more efficient enrollment into clinical trials and subsequently enable effective treatment."