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April 5, 2013

Cognoptix expands its Clinical Advisory Board, adding
Alzheimer's Disease-focused clinicians

"Cognoptix has developed a combination drug/device system, SAPPHIRE II,into a simple eye test that is designed to change the wayAlzheimer's Disease is detected and managed." - Paul Hartung, President and CEO, Cognoptix

ACTON, Mass. — Cognoptix, an emerging medical device company, announced today that it has expanded its Clinical Advisory Board, appointing two new members from among the Alzheimer’s Disease-focused clinician community: Carl H. Sadowsky, M.D., F.A.A.N., Director of Research, Premiere Research Institute, West Palm Beach, Fla; and, Pierre N. Tariot, M.D., Director, Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, Phoenix.

Previously announced members of the Cognoptix Clinical Advisory Board include two preeminent neuroscientists: P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center, and Member, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences; and, Gordon Wilcock, DM, FRCP, (Hon) DSC, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Geratology, OPTIMA (Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing) Project, University of Oxford.

“Expanding our Clinical Advisory Board by adding two exceptional AD-focused clinicians represents an important milestone for Cognoptix and the Alzheimer’s Disease-focused community at large, given that there is no early-stage, non-invasive diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease at point-of-care,” said Paul Hartung, President and CEO of Cognoptix. “This is unacceptable, of course, especially since patients incur significant neuronal loss before they start to exhibit severe enough symptoms to meet the current clinical standards for diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease—a process of elimination of other possible disorders such as stroke, trauma, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, achieved only via extensive and expensive cognitive and physical testing.

“On the other hand,” added Hartung, “Cognoptix is developing a method to aid in early-stage diagnosis to allow treatment before significant neuronal loss and irreversible brain damage occurs. This is particularly important at this time in light of the fact that new therapeutic drugs to slow or stop the progress of Alzheimer’s are expected to reach the market soon.”

The Cognoptix SAPPHIRE II system consists of a laser-based reading device and consumable ophthalmic ointment.  The eye exam can be given by a general practitioner and only takes a few minutes to achieve a result. The Cognoptix drug/device combination is an entirely novel, early-stage diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease designed to allow treatment before significant neuronal loss and irreversible brain damage occurs. Cognoptix has a strong and comprehensive patent portfolio covering diagnosis of beta amyloid-based diseases via ophthalmic imaging. The patent portfolio includes issued “method” and “device” patents, as well as pending “composition of matter” patents. In addition to UC San Diego, exclusive licenses have been acquired from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston.

There are more than 80 new Alzheimer’s drugs that are in various stages of research and development. The ability of the Cognoptix drug/device combination to easily identify and qualify patients for clinical study inclusion, as well as accurately and inexpensively track patient disease progression, may provide pharmaceutical companies with a significant competitive advantage in securing new Alzheimer’s drug approvals. It may also help identify and document differentiating pharmaceutical product performance attributes in Phase 4 studies.

Carl H. Sadowsky, M.D., F.A.A.N., is Director of Research at Premiere Research Institute and is also Clinical Professor, Division of Neurology, at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Dr. Sadowsky received his medical degree from Cornell University’s Weill Medical College. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a residency in neurology, including a chief residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dr. Sadowsky served as a United States Air Force Major and Chief of Neurology of the United States Air Force Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany, from 1976-1979. Dr. Sadowsky has participated in numerous trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of various cholinesterase inhibitors in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), a primary focus of his research efforts. He is a frequent presenter at medical meetings and symposia and a prolific writer. His articles, which have appeared in such prestigious journals as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Neurology, and Archives of Neurology, have most recently focused on comparisons of agents used in the treatment of patients with AD, the molecular mechanisms of AD, imaging in dementia, and ethical issues associated with patient care. A Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Sadowsky is a board member of the Southeast Florida Alzheimer’s Association and on the scientific review board for the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. He has been selected by Best Doctors in America for 12 consecutive years.

Pierre N. Tariot, M.D., is Director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, and Research Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Tariot is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College who attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.  He completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, and is Board Certified in both specialties, with added qualifications in geriatrics.  He served as a Medical Staff Fellow and then Senior Staff Fellow at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health.  In 1986, he joined the faculty of the University of Rochester Medical Center, achieving the rank of Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, Neurology, and Aging and Developmental Biology.  He served as Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic, Director of Psychiatry at Monroe Community Hospital, and Director of the University of Rochester component of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, funded by the National Institute on Aging.  Since 2006, he has been at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, where he serves as Director.   Together with his colleague and friend, Eric Reiman, he serves as co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative.  This is a major new effort to identify interventions that may delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.  The cornerstone project of this Initiative is a multinational presymptomatic trial in cognitively normal people at certain risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease because of their genetic background, which received NIH and other funding in May 2012.  

About Cognoptix
Cognoptix, a privately held medical technology company headquartered in Acton, Mass., is focused on developing and commercializing an in-office, drug/device diagnostic system as an aid in the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Its investors include Inventages Venture Capital, one of the world’s largest life sciences-, nutrition- and wellness-focused venture capital firms; and Launchpad Venture Group, a Boston-based angel investment firm that provides funding to early-stage companies. 

NOTE: The SAPPHIRE II system is approved for investigational use only in the United States.

 

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