Clino, a venture by Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, has entered into a research collaboration with GE Healthcare’s medical diagnostics division to discover in vivo imaging tracers for tau proteins that accumulate in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Hiroyuki Arai, MD, of the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University was the first person to succeed in detecting tau proteins in cerebrospinal fluid and argue for their significance as a surrogate biomarker. “Research data on PET imaging of amyloid are currently being accumulated, and the thinking now is that if we can conduct additional tau PET imaging on healthy subjects who have tested positive in amyloid PET exams, it will become possible to identify those with high risk of converting to Alzheimer’s,” Arai said in a statement.
If the joint venture results in the identification of agents that can distinguish tau accumulation, it will become possible to diagnose the level of severity of Alzheimer’s symptoms and could lead to the development of drugs to target tau proteins on the molecular level.
GE Healthcare and Clino also will consider collaboration with other companies and research institutes developing tau protein therapies, according to GE.