Amprion Announces Collaboration with NIH Researchers on Dementia Hallmark Study

SAN DIEGO, August 15, 2023Amprion has been contracted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural Research Program’s Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD) to study the levels of misfolded alpha-synuclein proteins in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Amprion has developed a cerebrospinal fluid assay for misfolded alpha-synuclein, which is thought to be the cause of Parkinson’s disease as well as the pathology of Lewy Body disease, the latter being commonly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Mike Weiner, MD, and principal investigator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. “The collaboration will help determine the extent to which alpha-synuclein occurs in patients with various stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and in unaffected aged individuals. This project has the potential to improve clinical diagnosis of dementia and advance clinical trials of treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.”

NIH CARD aims to accelerate and support clinical research that leads to the development of improved treatments and prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. Researchers will analyze data collected by the NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a large research study with the goal of validating biomarkers for use in Alzheimer’s Disease clinical treatment trials.

“This collaboration is an opportunity to study in a large-scale manner the potential links between alpha-synuclein and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Cornelis Blauwendraat, Ph.D., a scientist at the NIH’s National Institute on Aging, and a leader of the project. “We hope the results will help researchers better understand the complexity of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Research is revealing that many people who have symptoms of neurodegenerative disease may have mixed forms of dementia. For example, autopsies of the brains of some people who have dementia have revealed signs of misfolded alpha-synuclein, as well as hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, namely damaging forms of beta-amyloid and tau proteins.

Using the SYNTap biomarker test, scientific and clinical leaders in the field have demonstrated that approximately one third of Alzheimer’s patients have a second parallel disease driven by misfolded alpha-synuclein. These patients, all of whom can now be more easily detected, tend to have more rapidly progressive symptoms, and may respond differently to treatment than patients with just Alzheimer’s Disease, rather than a mixed dementia. 

“As we enter a new era of molecular-based personalized medicine for neurodegenerative diseases, Amprion is pleased to be at the forefront aligned with organizations such as ADNI and CARD,” said Russell Lebovitz, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Amprion. “We look forward to helping doctors, patients, and pharmaceutical partners develop the most effective treatments for each patient based on their unique molecular biomarkers.”

The Amprion/CARD/ADNI collaboration is an agreement through HHS purchase order 75N95023P00399. ADNI is funded by NIH grant U19AG024904.

About SYNTap®:
Amprion’s SYNTap Biomarker Test is a first-in-class-qualitative Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) and the only seed amplification assay available to aid the diagnosis of synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Lewy Body Dementia (LBD/DLB), and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) with Lewy Body variant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Amprion a Breakthrough Device Designation in 2019 for use of the test as an aid in the diagnosis of PD. SYNTap became commercially available in 2021.

About Amprion:
Amprion is a global leader in the advancement of neurodegenerative disorder diagnosis through seed amplification testing. As the global population ages, Amprion aims to accelerate precision medicine for neurodegenerative disorders by helping biopharma partners identify new drug candidates and underlying pathologies. The amplification testing methodology was originally developed by Claudio Soto, PhD, Amprion’s Co- Founder and has been further enhanced and validated by Amprion’s in-house scientific team. Amprion currently holds multiple U.S. and International patents for SAA methodology and strives to launch more biomarker tests to detect a wide range of early-stage neurodegenerative disorders.

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