NeuroQuest, a company of the Trendlines Group’s Misgav Venture Accelerator is moving quickly towards an important validation trial for novel blood-based immune biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The company’s biomarker platform for neurodegenerative diseases is based on the research of Prof. Michal Schwartz, Chair of Neuroimmunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science who pioneered the concept of Protective AutoImmunity. The trial is a follow-up to the preliminary human trial performed at Sheba, Rambam, and Abarbanel Medical Centers in Israel and Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, Texas which demonstrated up to 85% diagnostic accuracy and specificity in AD and ALS patients in mild to moderate stages versus healthy controls. The success of the validation trial, would present a new approach for a simple, inexpensive, and early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Successful results may lead to new therapeutic targets for this disease, opening new directions to an industry searching for novel approaches to combat AD given the recent failures of several Phase III trials for therapeutics targeting Beta-Amyloid reduction.
Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, the Co-Director of Alzheimer’s Research & Clinical Programs of the Medical University of South Carolina, has joined the company as its new VP of Clinical affairs to leverage his experience in over 200 Alzheimer’s related clinical trials. NeuroQuest has also announced a new partnership with the Harvard Clinical Research Institute and their Senior Director of Clinical Program Management, Dr. Jennifer Buell. Together the teams are gearing up for a 150-200 patients clinical trial at MUSC, Harvard, and other medical centers to validate the company’s novel immune based biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease.
The company has confirmed financing totaling $500,000 led by the Charleston based InterTech Group, headed by Jonathan Zucker, and the Maryland/Israel Trendlines Fund, managed by the Baltimore based Maryland/Israel Development Center. The company is also in serious discussions with the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) about a grant to support opening a US development center in Charleston, SC as the base of its clinical and regulatory work. Many of these developments were put into motion following a 2011 American Israel Chamber of Commerce –South East’s (AICC-SE) delegation from South Carolina headed by Tom Glaser. Glaser’s group, returned to Israel and Misgav again this week to celebrate and investigate additional opportunities for collaboration and investment.