Amydis Receives NIH Grant Award to Develop a Novel Tau Retinal Tracer for Alzheimer's Diseases and other Tauopathies

Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES


SAN DIEGO, Sept. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amydis Inc., a leading ocular tracer pharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of diagnostic drug candidates targeting CNS biomarkers in the eye, today announced a new Phase 1 grant award from the National Institute of Aging at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will support the development of a novel small-molecule retinal tracer targeting the biomarker tau for the detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related disease clinically diagnosed by the onset of dementia. AD is classically defined by two pathological hallmarks in the brain: amyloid plaques composed primarily of amyloid beta, and neurofibrillary tangles composed of abnormally formed tau protein. The level of tau pathology is more strongly correlated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease than is amyloid load. Tau isoforms are classified as 3-repeat (3R) and 4-repeat (4R) tau based on the presence of 3 or 4 copies of the microtubule-binding domain, and changes in the ratio of these isoforms can cause abnormal tau accumulation and lead to neurodegeneration. 4R tau isoforms are more abundant in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), whereas 3R tau is predominant in Pick’s disease. In AD, tau aggregates contain roughly equal elevated levels of 3R and 4R isoforms. Amydis will be collaborating with Dr. Robert Rissman, professor of neurosciences at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Director of the Biomarker Core for the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study and Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine to explore their novel retinal tracers in 3RTau and 4RTau transgenic mouse models.

“An increasing number of studies show promise in targeting tau with anti-tau immunotherapies and tau aggregation inhibitors, and it is widely agreed that new disease-modifying therapeutics will have the most benefit when applied early in the course of disease,” shared Rissman. “Amydis has created an approach to detect tau in the retina with their proprietary compounds, designed to be used with commercially available retinal imaging cameras that are standard in ophthalmology practice. This will provide a more cost-effective and adoptable diagnostic compared to PET and MRI imaging and allow physicians to easily identify qualified patients for clinical trials and monitor the efficacy of treatment using a simple eye exam.”

Dr. Stella Sarraf, CEO and Founder of Amydis, stated, "We are very grateful to the NIH for their support of our tau program. Amydis is the only company dedicated to exploring the diagnostic utility of a broad spectrum of biomarkers in the retina with our proprietary platform of small molecules.”

About Amydis, Inc.

Amydis is developing novel, patent-protected drugs - “retinal tracers”- that 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 that have to date 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. The future of effective, sustainable healthcare depends on knowledge gained through early diagnostics.

Amydis Contact: Ron Newbold, Chief Business Officer, ron@amydis.com.