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Amydis Nabs $3.4M NIH Grant to Develop Retinal Biomarkers for Alzheimer's

NEW YORK – Amydis on Tuesday said it has received a two-year, $3.4 million grant from the US National Institutes of Health to fund the use of fluorescent tracers to develop a database of retinal biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease.

The grant is through the NIH's Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program, an effort aiming to help small businesses get their products to market by supporting late-stage research and clinical development. Amydis will use funds from the program grant to apply its novel fluorescent tracers to create a database of retinal biomarkers related to Alzheimer's.

Amydis' proprietary small molecule tracers bind to numerous misfolded protein deposits, such as beta-amyloid, to enable visualization of disease-related biomarkers in the eye.

The firm is using the tracers to identify molecular biomarkers of the eye, which it will combine with blood-based biomarkers and genomics to map Alzheimer's pathogenesis and create a multiomics data warehouse. Amydis believes such a database will be able to support early identification of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases and related therapeutic development. 

"Our clinical study using a novel retinal tracer is the first step in leveraging the eye as a 'window to the brain,'" Amydis CEO and Founder Stella Sarraf said in a statement. "Approaching Alzheimer's disease as a heterogenous disorder will likely improve results in the search for effective treatments."