Using Nestlé’s multiplexed ultrasensitive antibody technology platform, the partnership will develop a sensitive and minimally invasive Tau diagnostic assay for early Alzheimer’s disease.

Tangles of Tau proteins are distinguished as one of two major hallmarks of neurodegeneration, the other being beta-amyloid (Abeta) plaques.

Tangles and other abnormal forms of Tau protein accumulate inside the brain cells and disperse between cells of people with Alzheimer’s disease over a long period of time.

According to Nestlé, Tau correlates well with cognitive decline and disease progression and it may develop into a suitable biomarker for early diagnosis of the disease.

NIHS head Ed Baetge said: "This collaboration agreement opens up exciting new possibilities in the quest to better understand and combat this debilitating disease."

Developed by Nestlé Health Science firm Prometheus Laboratories, the multiplexed ultrasensitive antibody technology is a patented diagnostic antibody-based platform, which can measure soluble proteins with high sensitivity and specificity.

The assay uses a triplex antibody microarray-based platform, which assesses the expression and activation of target proteins in tissues, blood or other fluids.

AC Immune CEO Andrea Pfeifer said: "The development of a minimally invasive diagnostic test to identify patients at very early stages is considered as one of the most pressing needs in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease."

Image: NIHS and AC Immune will develop a Tau diagnostic assay for early Alzheimer’s disease. Photo: courtesy of Nestlé.