Cytox Launches Novel Blood-based Diagnosis Test for Alzheimer’s Disease Detection


UK based Cytox Ltd recently launched an innovative genetic bio-marker test named variaTECT™ SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) array for the risk assessment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by a simple blood-based research test.

cytox ltd logoThe test can reduce the failure rates in the screening process during the clinical trials and can assist in novel drug discovery in ADThe genetic biomarker variaTECT™ SNP array test will provide a comprehensive panel of AD informative SNPs which will help in finding the amyloid positive people and those will further be registered for clinical trials thereby reducing the screening failure rate.

affymetrix logoVariaTECT™ SNP is developed in collaboration with Affymetrix (a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific) and will be marketed under the name of Axiom® Dementia Research Array. The biomarker assay comprises of the variaTECT™ SNP panel which is constructed on an Affymetrix Axiom® Genotyping Array.

The processing of the marker was done on an Affymetrix GeneTitan® Multi-Channel Instrument. Axiom Precision Medicine Research array is developed by Thermo Fisher Scientific is a broad genotyping resource created to facilitate research on a wide range of common and rare inherited diseases by immune response, genetic risk profiling and pharmacogenomics research with the help of referenced public databases including, PharmaGKB, ClinVar, CPIC, and PharmaADME.

According to Cytox, the genetic biomarker assay has been developed simultaneously with its SNPfitR software and polygenic risk score algorithm. The assay and the software together increased the accuracy rate to 80%.

Dr Richard Pither, CEO of Cytox, commented “The variaTECT array can be used together with our new SNPfitR™ software to enrich amyloid-positive cohorts and so reduce screening failure rates in early symptomatic (Mild Cognitive Impairment – MCI) and pre-symptomatic subject groups.”

He also stressed on the facts that for developing a drug for AD, early stage subject are required which is very rare to find. This is where the unique assay plays an important role.  Dr Richard Pither said “varia TECT SNP testing and SNPfitR analysis is easy to administer and provides a high degree of accuracy; in doing so, it dramatically reduces the screening failure rate and current associated costs of testing for amyloid positivity using PET amyloid or CSF examinations, which are not well-suited for high volume screening.”

The innovative biomarker was developed with the help of Cytox-led consortium and funding received from Innovate UK agency sometime around last year. The company joined hand with the researchers and experts across the globe to develop the assay. The assay comprises of 30,000 novel and known SNP variants in genes which are involved in various pathways related to AD aetiology. The software combined with the biomarker assay comprehensive panel was tested and analyzed on highly characterized patient populations in validation studies.

Although the product has been launched but the data of the study is not yet disclosed. According to Cytox, the data and the working of variaTECT SNP array and SNPfitR software and polygenic risk score algorithm, will be showcased together with Affymetrix, at AAIC (Alzheimer’s Association International Conference) 2016 in Toronto.

Many research and trials are going on across the globe for AD and scientists are incessantly trying to find a way to detect and cure AD from an early stage. With the help of this biomarker assay the road to clinical trials and drug discovery of AD will become a relatively time efficient, cost- effective and an easy process.

This video explains the Axiom Genotyping Arrays (credit: Affymetrix).

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