Amarantus BioSciences acquired an exclusive option to negotiate a license to Memory Dx’s (MDx; formerly Provista Life Sciences) clinical development-stage LymPro Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Blood Test, in return for 500,000 restricted shares of Amarantus’ common stock. The assay, originally developed at Germany’s University of Leipzig, is designed to identify immune-based biomarkers, and differentiate Alzheimer’s disease from other forms of dementia. Having completed two clinical trials, LymPro is poised to undergo validation testing required for its use as a laboratory-developed test by CLIA-certified laboratories. The ultimate aim is to progress the assay through FDA approval. Development of the test to date has been supported by NIH research grants.
The LymPro deal comes days after Amarantus announced a joint venture agreement with Rainbow BioSciences centered on development of NuroPro, Amarantus’ Parkinson’s disease diagnostic blood test, which the latter licensed from Power3 Medical Products in January. “Coming off our recent success in securing the license for the NuroPro Parkinson’s Diagnostic Blood Test, the LymPro Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Blood Test option agreement will give Amarantus additional leverage over the next few months in negotiations as we look to partner our diagnostic assets,” comments Gerald E. Commissiong, president and CEO. “We expect that NuroPro and LymPro will create a compelling investment package for potential partners.”
Protein therapeutics firm Amarantus’ primary research program is centered on developing treatments for brain disorders based on mesencephalic-astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF), a neurotrophic factor currently in preclinical development for the treatment of a number of apoptosis-related disorders. The MANF program originates from the firm’s PhenoGuard protein discovery engine for identifying secreted human proteins with selective biological activity. The discovery platform combines the PhenoGuard Cell Line Library of immortalized mammalian cells and target validation cell culture systems.