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Brain-enriched microRNAs detectable in plasma as biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44AG044860-07
Agency Tracking Number: R44AG044860
Amount: $3,359,115.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PAR19-333
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-04-30
Small Business Information
Princeton, NJ 08540-9429
United States
DUNS: 962781378
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (917) 843-7629
Business Contact
Phone: (917) 843-7629
Research Institution

One in 10 Americans aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since AD begins with a prolonged, over
10 year-long, asymptomatic stage, a growing number of companies are developing new therapies that aim to
intervene early in the progression of AD and related forms of dementia. There is thus a great need for minimally
invasive diagnostic tools for primary screening of individuals with early stages of the disease. DiamiR has
developed a platform technology for detection, prognosis, and monitoring of different stages (from the preclinical
stage to dementia) of AD based on targeted selection and analysis of brain-enriched and inflammation-
associated microRNAs (miRNAs) circulating in blood plasma. Working with leading academic Alzheimer’s
Disease Centers, DiamiR has produced a large amount of data, which supports the use of miRNA biomarkers
for detection of AD at different stages of the disease. This data include detection of clinically diagnosed mild
cognitive impairment (MCI) with accuracy of 95%, differentiation of AD from other neurodegenerative diseases
with ≥80% accuracy, and identification of cognitively normal subjects who would later progress to MCI with 75%
accuracy. Based on an analysis of over 1,000 well-characterized plasma samples, we defined 24 miRNAs for a
diagnostic test, CogniMIRTM. The objective of the current Commercialization Readiness Program (CRP) is to
develop a clinic-ready lab-developed test (LDT) compliant with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments
(CLIA) guidelines for detection of preclinical AD, MCI, and AD. In the ongoing Phase IIB study, we worked with
the Roskamp Institute and Thermo Fisher Scientific to analyze multiple pre-analytical factors in order to minimize
variability and increase sensitivity and reproducibility of the assay. We optimized the protocol for blood collection,
plasma preparation, and miRNA extraction. Further, we have developed a detailed workflow for the analysis of
24-miRNA classifier. In the present CRP project, in partnership with Interpace Biosciences we will finalize assay
protocol for the clinical setting and implement the test in a CLIA-compliant laboratory. Following analytical
validation, we will perform a multi-center double-blinded cross-sectional clinical study to assess test performance
for detection of preclinical AD, MCI, and AD among representative elderly subjects seen at geographically
diverse Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the US. Provided the project is successful, the new LDT comprising
CogniMIRTM could be immediately used to help screen patients for MCI/AD clinical trials. Once the CogniMIRTM
test is validated with 15,000-20,000 patient samples from heterogeneous cohorts, we will broadly launch the test
to gerontologists/neurologists and other medical professionals engaged in AD treatment and care.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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