The company will now work with the faculty of pharmacy at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) with the partnership focused on advancing research initiatives on the use of machine learning tools to predict Alzheimer’s Disease using blood via academic-industry partnerships.
Farid Khan, CEO of PharmaKure, (pictured below right) said: “The UK has an aging population, where 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s Disease. There is an urgent need to not only identify people who will develop this devasting disease but also develop treatments.
“This agreement marks a significant milestone in establishing a research collaboration with UiTM, a leading academic institute, allowing us to partner with key experts and enhance our in-house expertise in the analysis of molecular signatures of disease biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s.”
Machine learning to identify Alzheimer's
The new relationship aims to translate clinical research from UiTM using PharmaKure’s novel whole-blood testing and machine-learning technology for identifying early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease to support the development of much-needed diagnostic tests worldwide.
“Earlier and more accurate diagnostics for Alzheimer’s Disease are desperately needed if we are to prevent this devastating disease before profound memory loss takes hold,” said Professor Andrew Doig, head of R&D at PharmaKure.
“We are excited to be forming this relationship which will help us translate research from UiTM to further advance and commercialize diagnostic tests needed worldwide.”
Pharmakure recently announced a successful study for its proprietary ALZmetrix blood-based biomarker test, which together with its machine learning tools can predict which biomarkers are most useful in detecting people at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. A simple whole blood test such as ALZmetrix may offer an accurate and simple alternative to expensive and invasive PET brain imaging or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection.
PharmaKure’s Metrix range of biomarker tests are diagnostic in R&D trials for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. The company says that in these diseases, small soluble aggregates of proteins, termed oligomers are the toxic pathological form that causes brain damage and memory loss. The Alzheimer’s Disease biomarker test is called’ ALZmetrix’, detecting oligomeric forms of amyloid-β whereas the Parkinson’s biomarker test ‘PARKmetrix’ detects oligomeric forms of α-synuclein.
Professor Dato’ Abu Bakar Abdul Majeed (pictured left), dean of the pharmacy faculty at UiTM said: “Malaysia is expected to be an aging nation by 2030, with almost half a million dementia patients predicted in 2050. That’s why this research partnership is important; we want to drive innovation and have a societal impact both here and across the rest of the world.
“Alzheimer’s is a complex disease, by combining UiTM’s and PharmaKure’s biomarker, clinical and imaging data together with machine learning algorithms we will gain a better understanding of how this disease develops and ultimately find ways to treat it.”