Resonant, a subsidiary of Renew Biotechnologies aimed at releasing novel diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases, recently published research revealing a novel blood biomarker of neurodegeneration. The technology achieved 100% accuracy in identifying patients with Alzheimer’s disease and individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), the clinical precursor, that developed Alzheimer’s disease within five years, according to the company.
Published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, the study represents a milestone in Resonant’s strategic plans to provide accurate quantitative insights to patient care, the company says. Resonant is working toward making its diagnostic tools widely available for clinical neurodegenerative disease screening, research advancement, and direct consumer access for those seeking to optimize their brain health.
Resonant’s team of researchers, led by co-founders Chad Pollard and Timothy Jenkins, PhD, are optimistic this technology will help physicians detect neurodegeneration earlier, which could lead to substantial improvements—in quality of life, treatment plans, and potential therapies—for patients living with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our research suggests that analyzing a simple blood draw can predict whether individuals with MCI will develop Alzheimer’s disease within five years,” says Jenkins, co-founder of Resonant. “These data demonstrate significant potential for this technology’s use as a clinically actionable predictor of neurodegeneration, which could allow for pre-symptomatic interventions. We believe that such early identification is the key to improving outcomes for patients with neurodegenerative disease.”
Further reading: Blood Biomarker Test Can Spot Alzheimer’s Neurodegeneration
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, affects an estimated 6.7 Americans aged 65 years and older, a number projected to nearly triple to 14 million by 2060. Early diagnoses, which will be essential to reduce disease burden, are extremely challenging due to the complexities of disease mechanisms.
Although there is no dispute that the disease is characterized by neuron death, the utility of biomarkers of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s diagnostics has to date been limited by their lack of specificity. Resonant’s assay, however, overcomes this challenge by analyzing neuron type-specific DNA in the blood, the company says.
Resonant is working to make sure its test will be broadly accessible, which will enable more comprehensive treatment strategies for neurodegenerative disease.
“Making diagnostic tests widely available will be essential to see meaningful changes in patient care and outcomes,” says Pollard, co-founder of Resonant. “Alzheimer’s disease has historically been diagnosed by cognitive symptoms and the presence of proteins called amyloid beta and tau, but by the time these symptoms appear, the disease has progressed too far to significantly alter its trajectory. We are determined to change this.”
To increase the assay’s cell-specificity and predictive power in individuals with MCI, the researchers are currently improving their methods using proprietary DNA sequencing technology owned by Wasatch Biolabs (WBL), Resonant’s clinical laboratory service provider.
Further reading: Can a Fitness Tracker Diagnose Alzheimer’s in Your Sleep?
Beyond Alzheimer’s disease, Resonant is also expanding the application of this technology to other neurodegenerative conditions with cell-specific pathologies such as Parkinson’s Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Resonant is committed to creating novel testing solutions for early detection to provide clinicians, researchers, and individuals with the tools to effectively diagnose, treat, and manage neurodegenerative disease. They expect to launch their Alzheimer’s test in Q1 of 2024.