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TMCNet:  Probiodrug and VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam to Collaborate on the Development of Alzheimer's Disease Biomarker Assays

[January 10, 2014]

Probiodrug and VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam to Collaborate on the Development of Alzheimer's Disease Biomarker Assays

HALLE/SAALE, Germany --(Business Wire)--

Probiodrug AG (Probiodrug), together with the VU University Medical Center (VUmc) Alzheimer Center in Amsterdam, have entered into a collaboration to assess several newly developed molecular biomarker assays for their diagnostic, pharmacodynamic, and therapeutic potential. In this collaboration, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from well-characterized Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients at different stages of disease will be analyzed in comparison with CSF from age-matched control samples. The assays are designed to detect the presence and concentration of pyroglutamated amyloid beta (pGlu Abeta), a highly toxic peptide produced by the enzyme glutamaminyl cyclase (QC). PGlu Abeta has been correlated with cognitive decline in individuals with AD, and this collaboration seeks to correlate CSF concentrations of pGlu Abeta with AD disease stage.

"The results of this comprehensive analysis should give us further insights into the relevance of pGlu Abeta and pGlu Abeta-containing oligomers in the pathology of AD," said Inge Lues, PhD, chief development officer of Probiodrug. "A correlation between pGlu Abeta concentration and AD disease stage would validate the therapeutic approach of inhibiting QC, in support of the Phase 2 study for our innovative QC inhibitor PQ912."

Philip Scheltens, professor of cognitive neurology and director of VUmc Alzheimer Center, added, "Aside from several diagnostic markers, which can be costly and cumbersome, there are currently no vaidated therapeutic biomarkers for the treatment of AD. The work we are undertaking with Probiodrug could lead to earlier identification of disease, which could allow treatment to commence before irreversible damage has been done."


About the VUmc and VUmc Alzheimer Center

Involvement, care, curiosity and ambition are the core values of VUmc, and these values are reflected in the specialty care provided by VUmc Alzheimer Center, the largest AD center in the Netherlands. The Alzheimer Center team delivers patient care and conducts research in AD and other forms of dementia, with focus areas including disease subtyping, early diagnosis and biomarker research, advanced imaging, vascular factors in dementia, and intervention and clinical trials. The Alzheimer Center belongs to the broader network institute Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, which cares for patients with brain disease while researching brain function in health and illness. Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam continuously seeks innovative ways to advance its knowledge to society through its Industry Alliance Office.

About Probiodrug AG

Probiodrug is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutic solutions to treat people with Alzheimer's disease. The Company has medical use and composition of matter patents related to the inhibition of glutaminyl cyclase, providing the Company with a dominant position in this field of research. Probiodrug is backed by institutions such as BB Biotech, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Goodvent/IBG, HBM, TVM Capital, Life Sciences Partners, Biogen Idec New Ventures, CFH Group, funds managed by Wellington Management and private investors.

Probiodrug's core capabilities are based on its long-standing expertise in the elucidation of the structure and function of enzymes which play a central role in the maturation of hormones. Probiodrug was founded in 1997 by Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Demuth and Dr. Konrad Glund. For more information, please visit www.probiodrug.de.


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