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An international renown laboratory of prion biology based in Italy is developing fast in vitro assay that can detect disease-specific biomarkers with high sensitivity and specificity thus enabling early and definitive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. They are looking for industrial partners to establish joint venture or licence agreements.
The research group is working on the cutting edge to understand prion diseases from different angles: cellular prion protein (PrPC) function, structural biology of PrPC, transcriptomics, prion-like diseases, theranostics.
Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC) and protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) are fast in vitro assay that can detect disease-specific biomarkers with high sensitivity and specificity thus enabling early and definitive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. These two techniques enable the detection of minute infectious prion proteins (undetectable by current diagnostic techniques) in peripheral tissues (e.g. urine, blood, cerebrospinal fluid and olfactory mucosa) of patients in early stages of neurodegenerative diseases and can model the process of protein misfolding and aggregation in vitro.
The two approaches are fast and can achieve an early and definitive diagnosis of dementia without the need of costly and invasive procedures. It is possible to obtain patients stratifications' useful for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and assess the efficacy of different and innovative therapeutic compounds or drugs to interfere with the individual misfolding process. Moreover the techniques will allow the specific monitor of disease progression by analyzing the variation of disease-specific biomarkers, providing the patients with the most efficient compounds able to interfere with the molecular events and not only with the symptoms of the diseases.
Pharmaceutical companies developing novel treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, also interested to invest on/joint develop early and definitive diagnosis techniques for the above mentioned diseases.