betaSENSE

Early degeneration of the brain
seen in blood

betaSENSE

Early degeneration of the brain seen in blood

Protein diagnostics

Protein diagnostics

 

betaSENSE translates the experience and knowledge from decades of internationally renowned cutting-edge research in protein sciences into clinical applications. Structural changes in protein biomarkers indicate early detection of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. betaSENSE focuses on the development of body fluid tests, especially blood, for the detection of neurodegeneration in the symptom-free early stage.

Alzheimer’s disease

AD is the most common form of dementia. It is a continuum disease whose clinical symptoms in the late phase are mainly characterised by memory loss and cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, the independence of those affected decreases sharply, leading to an enormous burden on patients, their relatives, and the health care system.

Non-invasive blood test

In today’s established Alzheimer’s body fluid tests, the concentration of protein biomarkers is measured in cerebrospinal fluid, invasively obtained by lumbar punction. In contrast, the infrared immuno sensor (iRIS) technology developed by betaSENSE detects label-free protein biomarker secondary structures in body fluids. In AD, beta-amyloid protein (Aβ) misfolding is one of the earliest occurring molecular changes. Therefore, the iRIS system can determine the risk of developing clinical AD symptoms through minimally invasive blood sampling. Since misfolding of Aβ precedes clinical symptoms for up to 14 years, iRIS technology enables risk assessment in a symptom-free stage. This provides a full life by preventing the progression of the disease through lifestyle changes or by pharmacological intervention, such as aducanumab administration.

Risk assessment

Our AD blood test can determine the risk of developing AD by measuring the extent of Aβ misfolding. Using a simple traffic light system, the result can be classified as low risk with no misfolding (green area), slightly increased risk with low misfolding (yellow area), or high risk with high misfolding (red area). If the values are in the green range, further immediate examinations are unnecessary; the test should only be repeated after a maximum of 5 years.
If the values fall in the yellow range, or especially in the red range, additional and more complex examinations are recommended to confirm the diagnosis. Results in the red range demand intervention as soon as possible.

Therapy options

Currently, with an early diagnosis, “lifestyle changes ” and/or drug therapy with aducanumab can be initiated at an early stage to significantly slow down the progression of the disease in a cognitively almost-impaired state. This allows a largely self-determined full life during ageing.

On 7 June 2021, the FDA—the US Food and Drug Administration—approved the first drug targeting the cause of AD, aducanumab, for the US market. Approval for Europe has been applied for and is expected end of 2021.

Scientific publications

A sensor to detect Alzheimer’s

The secondary structure of the Aβ protein is a blood biomarker for AD

Development of a reusable surface coating