This year, Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2020, while virtual, was an exciting and highly engaging event for Simoa® technology and ready-to-use Simoa® assay kits. The research demonstrates important biomarker-enabled advances that enhance global understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), how to distinguish it from other dementias, and the potential for serum-based markers to improve detection and treatment strategies.
In recent years, a groundswell of research has emerged around serum biomarkers for tau phosphorylated at threonine (p-tau), neurofilament light chain (NfL) and GFAP that supports their use as valuable indicators of AD with the potential to enhance diagnosis, clinical decision making and drug trials. These developments were on full display at AAIC 2020, with p-tau181 and p-tau217 emerging as the most promising markers for diagnosing AD through non-invasive blood testing. Among the presentations unveiled at this year’s event, a considerable number used Quanterix’ Simoa® technology and assays, including its recently-launched Simoa® p-tau181 blood immunoassay kit, to validate these findings. Their collective efforts broadly advance the industry’s progress toward a conclusive and easily-administer diagnostic test for AD.
Among the standout presentations were those from the University of Gothenburg, which used the Simoa® plasma p-tau181 assay in multiple studies to demonstrate the utility of p-tau181 as a highly specific and predictive indicator of AD pathology. One study found that p-tau181 accurately predicts AD pathology at least 8 years before death and reinforced its utility for diagnosis, longitudinal monitoring and clinical trial recruitment. Another, conducted with UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, demonstrated the marker’s value as a pre-screening tool for amyloid PET positivity among aging populations with no prior neurological complications.
Notable studies using Simoa® assays to evaluate the potential of p-tau217 were also presented. Among them was a collaboration out of Lund University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Eli Lilly and Company and others that sought to assess the predicative capabilities of p-tau217 in CSF and serum for AD as compared to p-tau181. Similarly, using a novel ultrasensitive Simoa® homebrew immunoassay capable of quantifying p-tauT217 in CSF, researchers from the University of Gothenburg, McGill University, Lund University and others proved p-tauT217 to be a promising new biomarker for AD that could aid clinical diagnoses at pre-dementia stages. An ultrasensitive Simoa® p-tau217 immunoassay was used in another study to assess p-tau217 as a marker for other neurodegenerative diseases. In this case, the researchers investigated its value as an indicator of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) with concomitant amyloid/tau pathology or in primary tauopathies such as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Findings suggest that p-tauT217 offers a high diagnostic accuracy when distinguishing AD and CJD and verifies p-tauT181 as an important marker for confirming AD diagnosis.
Quanterix also showcased two posters reflecting important developments pertaining a Simoa® multiplex assay that simultaneously measures Aβ1-42, Aβ1-40, GFAP and NF-L in blood and its new, highly sensitive blood-based p-tau181 assay. A deeper look at the new Simoa® p-tau181 blood immunoassay was also made available through the Product Theater Showcase and can be viewed on-demand here.
For more details on Quanterix’ participation at AAIC and the posters and presentations featuring Simoa®, click here.
To learn more about Quanterix’ p-tau181 assay kit, visit https://www.quanterix.com/products-technology/assays/p-tau181.