Cardiff University has signed an agreement with Cytox to help the company develop a genetic risk assessment tool for Alzheimer’s disease.

Under the licence, Oxford- and Manchester-based Cytox will access the University’s intellectual property (IP) regarding polygenic risk scoring algorithms for predicting the future onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Cytox will gain exclusive commercialisation rights to IP and know-how generated under its ongoing collaboration with Cardiff University, plus non-exclusive rights to further IP from Cardiff University.

Image credit: Cardiff University

Cytox is incorporating the technology defined within the licence in the development of genoSCORETM, a genetic risk assessment tool to identify patients most at risk of cognitive decline from Alzheimer’s disease: genoSCORETM improves clinical trial patient recruitment enrichment to Alzheimer’s disease clinical studies and aids physicians in the management of patients in clinical practice.

Cytox expects to launch genoSCORETM as a product registered for professional use in the US and Europe, towards the end of 2020.

Professor Julie Williams, Centre Director, UK Dementia Research Institute at Cardiff, said: “We are pleased to be working with Cytox as the company seeks to identify individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr Richard Pither, CEO Cytox, said: “Cardiff University is one of the world-leading institutions developing polygenic risk scoring algorithms in neurological disorders. Following a successful collaboration funded by Innovate UK, Cytox is very pleased to secure a licence agreement to allow further development and commercialisation of the technology. Cytox is committed to enabling improvements in clinical research and development, and future clinical practice in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Without new drug therapies, the economic and healthcare cost burden of dementia – including Alzheimer's disease – is estimated to exceed £750bn per year in the next decade.

Alzheimer’s – a highly complex disease with risk factors based in genetics, lifestyle, age and environment – has seen no new approved drug therapy since 2003 and clinical trial failure rates run at 99.6%.

Cytox products genoSCORETM and genoTORTM use polygenic risk scoring to improve clinical trial outcomes through patient stratification and the genetic characterisation of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Cardiff University