ISB And Precyte Announce the Exclusive Licensing of the Indicator Cell Assay Platform (iCAP) Technology to PreCyte

PreCyte and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) Announce $2M SBIR Phase II Funding for the Further Optimization and Evaluation of the Indicator Cell Assay Platform (iCAP) for the Early Detection of Alzheimer's Disease

SEATTLE, WA, September 14, 2015 – PreCyte, Inc. a developer of innovative diagnostic tests for neurodegenerative and other diseases, and the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) announced today that the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded PreCyte a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to support further optimization, validation and development of the company's targeted diagnostic technology based on the Indicator Cell Assay Platform (ICAP) applied to plasma for early detection of Alzheimer's disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The award will provide PreCyte with approximately $2M over two years. In the previous studies performed by the ISB, and supported in part by Washington State’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF), prodromal Alzheimer’s, MCI, and Alzheimer's disease were differentiated from healthy controls. The present award will support further optimization of the iCAP and analysis of archived and prospectively collected plasma samples; the analysis will be conducted in collaboration with ISB and leading academic centers. ISB, a world-renowned center for systems biology in Seattle, is exclusively licensing the technology to PreCyte, Inc. 

"There is a great clinical need to develop minimally invasive and effective methods to identify individuals at higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and dementia at pre-symptomatic or early stages,” said Robert Lipshutz, PhD, CEO of PreCyte. “Early disease detection could facilitate more efficient enrollment into clinical trials and subsequently enable effective treatment. We greatly appreciate the additional support of the NIH. This funding strengthens our ability to collaborate with key opinion leaders in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, to conduct larger studies, and to advance the development of our first test for early detection of MCI with the initial application in clinical trials support. We further look forward to our continued collaboration with ISB and other leading clinical centers.” 

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to make an impact in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, and look forward to working with PreCyte on this exciting project, said John Aitchison, founding faculty member at ISB.

“We believe that transferring this research to companies such as PreCyte is a key component of ISB’s Innovation Engine – it’s a model that has brought many successes to ISB,” said Lee Hood, MD, PhD, President and founder of ISB.  

About iCAP. 

The indicator cell assay platform (iCAP) is analogous to the early pregnancy test in which, without knowing what to look for, the patient’s blood or urine was injected into a rabbit and readout was the response of the rabbit’s ovaries to the sample. In the iCAP, patient serum is applied to specifically selected standardized indicator cells. The response of the cell provides the readout. The indicator cell assay will succeed where other methods have failed by exploiting cells’ natural capability to amplify and integrate multi-analyte signals. The assay has been demonstrated to be 94% accurate for the detection of ALS in a murine model.

About PreCyte

PreCyte is a privately held molecular diagnostics company focused on developing minimally invasive tests for the early detection and monitoring of neurodegenerative disease and cancer.

About ISB

ISB was founded in 2000 by systems biologist Leroy Hood, immunologist Alan Aderem, and protein chemist Ruedi Aebersold. ISB was established on the belief that the conventional models for exploring and funding breakthrough science have not caught up with the real potential of what is possible today. ISB serves as the ultimate environment where scientific collaboration stretches across disciplines, where our researchers have the intellectual freedom to challenge the status quo, and where grand visions for breakthroughs in human health inspire a collective drive to achieve the seemingly impossible. Our core values ensure that we always keep our focus on the big ideas that eventually will have the biggest impact on human health. Since 2000, ISB has grown to about 200 staffers, which includes 9 faculty members and laboratory groups.