Oxford BioDynamics presents results of study into epigenetic biomarkers for ALS at The Lancet Neurology Conference

25th October 2016 – Oxford BioDynamics, an Oxford UK-based biotechnology firm, presented at The Lancet Neurology Conference at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London on 20th October 2016. The aim of the conference was to broadcast cutting-edge findings on preclinical neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’s disease.

During the first presentation, entitled ‘Epigenetic signatures and early detection of neurodegenerative diseases,’ the Oxford BioDynamics team presented in collaboration with Professor Merit Cudkowicz, Massachusetts General Hospital, Neurology Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) and Professor Kevin Talbot of Oxford Nuffield Department some of the first, blood-based epigenetic systemic diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for ALS. The markers have now undergone some of the first validations and show important insights into disease understanding. The study was conducted using Oxford BioDynamics proprietary, award-winning EpiSwitch™ technology and has been designed to help doctors diagnose the disease within weeks of initial symptoms appearing in patients.

In the second presentation, entitled ‘Epigenetic footprints for neurodegenerative and autoimmune conditions: a comparative analysis,’ Oxford BioDynamics demonstrated a systemic comparative analysis of epigenetic footprints for a number of auto-immune diseases, comparing them to ALS and Alzheimer’s disease in particular. The study shows important insights into disease understanding and strong correlation with other biomarker modalities, particularly genetic variants influencing changes in protein levels in blood (pQTLs).

Dr Akoulitchev said: “The significance of early pre-symptomatic diagnosis and prognosis in the field of neurodegenerative diseases is well recognised today. With our platform technology we have been able to take very encouraging steps forward. We believe our work will contribute to improved patient care and will help provide valuable biomarker readouts to the new and ongoing therapeutic development programmes.

“The Lancet Neurology Conference has given us the opportunity to present the progress specifically made in the study of epigenetic biomarkers of ALS, which has been made possible thanks to the support of the UK government and our partners at Massachusetts General Hospital, NCRI and Oxford Nuffield Department.”

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