Verge Genomics has collaborated with Emerald Innovations to deploy wireless digital health technology to gather vital patient data for its planned amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) trial.

Emerald Innovations’ digital health technology will be used in Verge Genomics’ Phase 1b proof-of-concept study of VRG50635. The VRG50635 PIKfyve inhibitor is an innovative therapeutic being developed for the treatment of ALS.

Verge Genomics chief medical officer Dr Diego Cadavid said: “Given the high unmet need for effective treatments and the complexity of ALS, it is imperative that we leverage innovative technology tools that make it possible to collect dense amounts of unbiased, objective patient function data to properly assess the efficacy and dose-response to VRG50635 early in clinical development.”

The company plans to deploy wireless digital health sensors in the homes of participants recruited for the study.

These sensors will constantly monitor important neurological functions impacted by ALS, such as sleep patterns, walking, breathing and mobility.

The Emerald data will be analysed to evaluate changes in patients undergoing treatment with progressively higher doses of VRG50635.

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Emerald Innovations president and co-founder Dr Dina Katabi said: “The partnership between Verge and Emerald stems from a shared commitment to establish a data-driven approach to clinical trials.

“This trial is designed from the outset to continuously and objectively track patients’ function and their potential change in response to treatment, without requiring them to wear sensors or alter their behaviour.”

The Emerald biosensor is an innovative type of “invisible” sensor that operates in the background.

It uses artificial intelligence and collects health indicators by analysing nearby radio signals.

This approach eliminates the need for patients to use wearable devices or record their experiences manually.

Using the digital health sensor, traditional ALS clinical trial data can be enhanced through the continuous or regular collection of objective patient information during real-world activities.