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National Institute on Aging awards $225,000 for work to improve Alzheimer's diagnoses

The promise of earlier detection of diseases such as Alzheimer's is welcome news to the millions of families in the United States already affected by the various types of dementia. Emerging techniques such as spinal taps have shown success, but they are not effective for everyone.

Now, Tymora Analytical Operations, a Purdue University-affiliated company, has received a $225,000 SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health for its approach to using blood and plasma for earlier detection of Alzheimer's disease.

"This grant allows us to continue working with our EVtrap approach to finding certain biomarkers in a patient's plasma samples," said Anton Iliuk, Tymora's chief technology officer. "We are taking samples of healthy individuals and those already with early or late onset of Alzheimer's to compare and focus on known and new markers linked to the disease."

The grant comes from the NIH's National Institute on Aging. Tymora's EVtrap approach involves analyzing a plasma sample to look for exosome proteins and phosphoproteins that are Alzheimer's-signaling molecules in the body.

"Our company is working to help make earlier detection of Alzheimer's and other diseases easier and less agonizing for people, plus provide doctors with earlier diagnoses to help improve treatments," Iliuk said.

The chief scientific officer for Tymora, W. Andy Tao, is a professor of biochemistry in Purdue's College of Agriculture and a member of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. Tao developed much of Tymora's technology at Purdue University and licensed the intellectual property through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.

He also is the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding Commercialization Award for Purdue University faculty. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org.

The technology aligns with Purdue's Giant Leaps celebration of the university's global advancements in health as part of Purdue's 150th anniversary. That is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration's Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

Provided by Purdue University