Amydis Awarded Michael J. Fox Foundation Grant to Accelerate Development of an Alpha-Synuclein Retinal Tracer to Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease Through the Eye
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amydis, Inc., a biotechnology company developing a new class of diagnostics to enable the early detection of neurological diseases through the retina, today announced that it has received a new grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) for the Company’s pioneering retinal tracer program for alpha-synuclein (ASYN).
Amydis received previous grant support from MJFF in 2018 to evaluate its patent-protected portfolio of novel small molecule contrast agents (retinal tracers) that emit a strong fluorescent signal upon selective binding to protein biomarkers of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), which form in the retina. Amydis is working on the world’s first retinal tracer for ASYN, with the goal of providing early and accurate detection of PD through the eye, as well as monitoring of disease progression and evaluating the effectiveness of candidate therapeutics.
“We are extremely proud to have the support of MJFF for our ASYN retinal tracer program, which has the potential to offer patients an affordable and accessible test for early diagnosis of PD,” stated CEO and Founder, Dr. Stella Sarraf. “We appreciate MJFF’s continued funding as we collectively work toward solutions for this disease.”
PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and affects more than 6 million people worldwide. People with PD start experiencing symptoms later in the course of the disease, when a significant amount of the neurons have already been lost or impaired. Currently, diagnosis at an early stage is difficult. The development of a retinal diagnostic tracer targeting ASYN would address this unmet medical need. ASYN is also associated with Lewy body dementia and multiple system atrophy.
Irene Litvan, MD, the Tasch Endowed Chair of Parkinson’s Disease Research and Director of the Movement Disorder Center at the University of California, San Diego shared, “I am well aware of the challenges PD patients face in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. I believe the Amydis approach to detecting ASYN through the eye would be a tremendous step forward for the PD community.”
About Amydis, Inc. Amydis is developing novel, patent-protected retinal tracer drugs, which enable direct visualization of CNS disease-related molecular changes (biomarkers) in the retina. The Company has a discovery platform and proprietary know-how which uniquely positions them with first mover advantage to explore the retina for a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, which have historically required long-term clinical evaluation and the use of invasive testing for definitive diagnosis. Amydis aims to become a global leader in developing retinal tracers for neurological diseases. For more information on Amydis, please visit www.amydis.com. Amydis Contact: Jack Thrift, Chief Financial Officer, email@example.com