UK-based medical technology company Cytox has launched its genetic biomarker research assay variaTECT for research use and to assess Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk.

The variaTECT single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array involves an easy blood-based research test with a comprehensive panel of SNPs indicative of AD.

It aids research and novel drug discovery studies while assisting users in the pharmaceutical industry to limit the screening failure rate in detecting amyloid positive subjects for recruitment into clinical trials, thereby saving time and money.

The assay involves a combination of whole exome association analysis, which is the testing of protein-encoding genetic variants across the genome in highly selected and characterised clinical samples, genetic variations and other variants indicative of AD-associated biological pathways.

It has been developed alongside Cytox’s SNPfitR software and polygenic risk score algorithm.

"Our studies show the assay has an accuracy of greater than 80%."

Cytox CEO Dr Richard Pither said: “variaTECT is currently the most comprehensive research panel available for the detection of AD informative SNPs.

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“Our studies show the assay has an accuracy of greater than 80%, with high-positive and negative predictive values for the amyloid status of test subjects.

“The variaTECT array can be used together with our new SNPfitR software to enrich amyloid-positive cohorts and so reduce screening failure rates in early symptomatic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and pre-symptomatic subject groups.”

The research array will be commercialised as the Axiom Dementia Research Array which is comprised of the variaTECT SNP panel designed on an Affymetrix Axiom Genotyping Array and processed on an Affymetrix GeneTitan Multi-Channel Instrument.