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OPKO Health, Inc. (NYSE: OPK) today announced that Thomas Kodadek, a Professor at The Scripps Research Institute and the Director of Chemistry and Molecular Biology for OPKO, made a presentation entitled 'Candidate Serum IgG Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease' at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, being held from July 14 to 19, 2012. The data regarding OPKO’s blood serum test for Alzheimer’s disease was selected for oral presentation as part of the conference’s 'Advances in Plasma Alzheimer’s Biomarkers Symposia.'
In his presentation, Dr. Kodadek summarized OPKO’s Alzheimer’s disease biomarker work and presented data from recent blinded studies of clinically characterized serum samples and autopsy-confirmed plasma samples. These studies continue to show the utility of OPKO’s disease-specific small molecule-antibody complexes in the diagnosis of established Alzheimer’s disease, including diagnostic specificity of 100% in a blinded study of 36 autopsy-confirmed plasma samples. Studies of patients with early stage disease are in progress. As previously announced, OPKO has entered into an agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings for the commercialization of laboratory testing services for Alzheimer’s disease utilizing OPKO’s technology.
“The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is growing rapidly due to the aging population, creating an unsustainable burden on patients, caregivers and the economy,” said Phillip Frost, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OPKO. “OPKO is committed to discovering and developing novel diagnostic tools which will be useful in the detection of Alzheimer’s disease and the development of new medicines to treat the disease.”
Dr. Kodadek also announced the discovery of peptoids that capture autoantibodies diagnostic for the demyelinating disease Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). OPKO intends to commercialize a serum test based on four of these markers which provided a diagnostic sensitivity of 90% and a diagnostic specificity of 100%. This test could be useful in diagnosing patients that present with visual problems to distinguish NMO patients from those with multiple sclerosis or other disorders which may require very different treatment regimes.