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Affymetrix and Cytox have agreed to collaborate on developing and commercializing a blood-based genetic assay for research in diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

The value of the collaboration was not disclosed by Cytox, which announced the partnership today.

The collaboration is designed to combine Affymetrix’ technology, know-how and marketing support with Cytox’ expertise in developing tests to identify individuals at risk of cognitive decline, AD and other dementias.

Cytox said it has identified a novel panel of DNA sequence variations or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes influenced by rapamycin, linked to the mTOR signaling pathway. Cytox has data suggesting that an assessment of disease risk may be possible using a customized genetic variation SNP panel associated with mTOR signaling and other pathways, the company added.

A key goal, according to Cytox, is the validation of the panel for future at risk individuals with MCI.

“Our early research studies developed with our partners at University College London and University of Birmingham suggest that by using a customized genetic variation (SNP) panel, it may be possible to better assess the risk of an individual developing AD or MCI,” Cytox CEO Richard Pither, Ph.D., said in a statement.

Dr. Pither added that Affymetrix’ Axiom® genotyping platform was “ideally suited for use in a blood-based test for researchers interested in AD and MCI risk stratification and longer-term diagnostic and prognostic use.”

According to Affymetrix, its Axiom Genotyping Solution offers pre-designed arrays covering more populations than any other technology. Users can use variants they provide or choose SNPs from the company’s Axiom Genomic Database.

“The partnership with Cytox will allow us to extend our offering into the important AD and dementia research market with a significant new application,” added Michael Nemzek, vp of strategic marketing, genotyping, at Affymetrix.

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