UK-based speciality biopharmaceutical company PharmaKure has teamed with APIS Assay Technologies to develop Clickmers related to neurodegenerative diseases.

APIS Assay Technologies is a diagnostic company with scientific expertise in biomarker translation, molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics.

PharmaKure, a spin-out from the University of Manchester, is specialised in companion diagnostics for the treatment of neurological diseases.

Under the collaboration, APIS and PharmaKure will jointly develop Clickmers, used for highly selective detection of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Clickmers are single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides, modified using Click chemistry, a class of simple, atom-economy reactions commonly used for joining two molecular entities of choice.

APIS technology head Helen Fielder said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to support the development of novel diagnostic tests that detect biomarkers associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

“Using APIS’ novel Clickmer technology, we aim to deliver highly specific and high-affinity detection of Alzheimer’s biomarkers, to support earlier detection of the disease.

“Earlier detection alongside PharmaKure’s lead drug candidate PK051 has the potential to significantly improve the treatment of AD patients.”

The two companies will advance the development and clinical validation of specific Clickmers that target biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

Certain blood biomarkers of amyloid-b, aggregated α-synuclein, aggregated Tau, NFL and DJ-1 have been associated with Alzheimer’s Disease pathology.

The Clickmer technology facilitates the sensitive and accurate measurement of the levels of these biomarkers in blood.

Alzheimer’s disease is a deadly disease that causes a progressive decline in memory and other aspects of cognition, including the most common form of dementia.

PharmaKure said that it aims to precisely identify patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, even before they have any symptoms.

PharmaKure CEO Farid Khan said: “We are excited to collaborate with APIS on the possibility of using Clickmers for advancing increased binding affinity towards Alzheimer’s biomarkers such as amyloid-b.

“This is one of the steps to bring to the market effective disease-modifying therapeutics in AD by combining our lead drug candidate PK051 with an early detection of disease-related biomarker assays.”