Cashman, Neil R
University of British Columbia
A Defined Abeta Oligomer Epitope: Theranostic Applications
Identification of methods for early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is a top priority for medical science. Small aggregates of the protein amyloid-beta called oligomers have been identified as being the primary toxic agent in Alzheimer’s disease. We have identified an A-beta oligomer specific targeting site (termed cSNK). The target is comprised of three amino acids in a distinct 3-dimensional arrangement. We have confirmed that antibodies binding to this target site specifically recognize oligomers in brain extract, plasma, and spinal fluid of Alzheimer’s disease patients. In 2012 the cSNK epitope and antibodies were exclusively licensed from UBC to Cangene Corp/Emergent BioSolutions (Winnipeg MB). Together with the company we detected circulating cSNK “natural antibodies” in young healthy donors, the titers of which declined in aging. Jointly with Emergent BioSolutions, we will exploit our unique tools to develop effective diagnostic and therapeutic applications of the cSNK epitope.