Location: United States
Alzheimer’s patients tend to have variations in the forms and progression of their disease, which has made drug development a challenge. By isolating differences and working towards more targeted drug development, precision medicine can be applied.
In the past 20 years, over 150 attempts to develop a drug for Alzheimer’s disease have failed. Neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s, are particularly difficult to create new medicines. This is partially due to how much variation is present between patients as there are subtypes, differing rates of progression and people can have different types of dementia.
Vivid Genomics is applying precision medicine to dementia drug development. Targeting variations of the disease rather than looking for a one-size-fits-all treatment should increase drug efficacy and save researchers time and money. Through machine-learning and genomics, they have developed a ‘Genomic Biopsy’ test to identify variations in dementia patients.
By targeting specific traits, researchers can more precisely engineer their drugs and trial them with patients who have the specific change. Currently, there are two tests available – The first checks for amyloid plaques which are typically seen in the condition. The second test predicts the rate of Alzheimer’s disease progression.