The South Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups has awarded KRW1.7bn ($1.27m) to Bredis Healthcare as part of a Deep Tech Tech Incubator Program for Startups (TIPS) grant to develop a diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The majority of the funding will support the device development, while KRW200m is earmarked for commercialisation and global expansion. The funds will be released to Bredis over three years.

The South Korean startup plans to develop a test to detect blood biomarkers linked to Alzheimer’s disease, with plans for launch by 2025. The company’s proprietary immunoassay technology is 10,000 times more sensitive in detecting biomarkers and can detect blood biomarkers at the femtogram level (fg/ml, fg=10^-15g), compared to conventional diagnostics.

Bredis principal researcher Jaejung Son said: “Bredis Healthcare is pioneering the development of the world’s first in vitro diagnostic medical device, capable of identifying key biomarkers such as P-tau, neurofilament light chain (NFL), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in a blood sample.

“This ultra-sensitive technology holds profound promise in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease by enabling the identification of biomarkers, even in low concentrations that are elusive using current blood-based diagnostic kits.”

There has been a wave of interest in the development of medical devices using blood biomarker tests to detect and monitor AD. This month, Quest Diagnostics launched an at-home blood test to detect the disease in the US. Furthermore, there is an increase in the number of drugs being developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

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By GlobalData

Last year, Bendis received investment from Korean venture capital group KAIST Venture Investment Holdings and Checkmate Capital Group through the TIPS programme to expand its manufacturing and commercial capabilities.