Cognoptix, presenting at the 6th Annaul OneMedForum, January 7-9 in San Francisco, is a privately held medical device company creating and developing a simple, innovative non-invasive eye scanning test for the early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Currently, there exists no commercially available in vivo biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease. Cognoptix was founded on the basis of a new and promising biomarker for the detection of beta amyloid proteins responsible for the formation of plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
The Cognoptix SAPPHIRE II system consists of a laser-based reading device and consumable ophthalmic ointment. The eye exam can be given by a general practitioner and only takes a few minutes to achieve a result. Cognoptix has a strong and comprehensive patent portfolio covering diagnosis of beta amyloid-based diseases via ophthalmic imaging. The patent portfolio includes issued “method” and “device” patents, as well as pending “composition of matter” patents.
Last month, the company announced the exclusive licensing of its Alzheimer’s-detection technology from the University of California – San Diego. In addition to UC San Diego, exclusive licenses have been acquired from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston.
In this article, Cognoptix President and CEO Paul Hartung offers a prospective of the company – detailing the company’s unique technology, market opportunity, financials and future catalysts/goals.
Cognoptix will be presenting on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 8th at OneMedForum, following the conference Diagnostics Panel. OneMedForum gathers the most innovative emerging growth companies like Cognoptix along with a diverse investor base to facilitate capital raising and partnership in our industry. This year the conference will host nearly 100 dynamic companies and 1,000 investors.
To view an interview with Cognoptix President and CEO Paul Hartung, click below.
View the transcript below.
Paul Hartung, President and CEO: Cognoptix is going to change the course of Alzheimer’s disease by detecting it before symptoms arise. We’re the only company in the position to do that. Sapphire is an innovative eye test measuring beta amyloid in the lens of the eye, which is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, it was only found in the brain. Cognoptix is found that it grows in the lens of the eye.
The basic science is definitive. The founding scientist who discovered this protein aggregate in the lens of the eye actually looked at eye-brain pairs of Alzheimer’s victims and found these deposits that were unique to Alzheimer’s victims. They correlated directly with what was going on in the brain. We then moved on to look at animal models, preclinical animal models that grow human A beta in their eyes and then we moved on to human studies. We’ve done a ten –person study that showed very promising results looking at five people with probable Alzheimer’s disease as diagnosed by conventional methods and we compared them to healthy volunteers. We are excited by the results that we found which gave us good separation of the groups.
Cognoptix has raised $17M to date. We were the first syndicated angel deal in the north east of the United States. We have a number of angel groups that participated in that deal that was led by Launchpad Venture Group. That was our A round. We then moved to institutional investors and Inventages, which is Nestle money, they’re the limited partner of Inventages, has led our last two rounds. We’re looking to raise $20M to $25M to fund our pivotal studies and to take us to commercial launch. We expect to complete a 40-person feasibility trial correlating to PET amyloid imaging, which is brain imaging. It’s actually the latest approved procedure. The FDA for the first time recognizes the role of that A beta, which is the same protein aggregate we measure in the eye, plays on the disease process.
There is a very strong pipeline of new Alzheimer’s drugs in development in addition to the drugs that are already available. These new drugs are designed to change the course of the disease if administered early. There have been over 80 published and we know that there are many more in development. We believe that our test is a strong enabler for developing these drugs to identify the right patients for these drugs and to monitor the efficacy. It has been scientifically established that amyloid beta not only exist in the lens, it actually grows in the lens and that parallels the growth in the brain. That strong correlation between the amyloid beta in the lens and the brain opens up the opportunity for a point of care test that could be conducted at the general practitioner’s office or in clinical trials at much lower cost, less invasive and just as effective as a brain scan.
So again in summary, Cognoptix is going to change the course of Alzheimer’s disease by detecting it early through a simple noninvasive eye test. We’re the only company in the position to deliver on this promise soon.