Cytox has been awarded funding from Innovate UK for the clinical evaluation of its pioneering approach to Alzheimer’s disease risk assessment.

In partnership with Cardiff University, the company is being given £800,000 to support of work on developing a set of polygenic risk score (PRS) approaches to predicting AD progression.

Up to 60 percent of patients experiencing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are at high risk of progression to AD, but current prognostic methods for AD are only 25-30 percent accurate in early MCI, according to Cytox. “The lack of validated biomarkers hampers clinical management of these patients and also the development of new therapies useful in AD,” it said.

Cytox has developed, in collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific, a genetic prognostic research test able to predict “with a very high degree of accuracy” the risk of someone developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) many years before the first signs emerge.

Dr Richard Pither, chief executive of Cytox, says the funding from Innovate UK, which follows an earlier grant back in 2015, “reaffirms the validity of our approach in this highly important area.”

Alzheimer’s disease affects over 46 million people around the globe, but is expected to hit 74.7 million in 2030 and more than 131 million people by 2050 with an economic impact to exceed two trillion dollars.