More Accurate Test expected to become Indispensable Tool for Clinical Practice
PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — WRQ Sciences and Superfluid Dx, Inc., announced today the completion of an oversubscribed Series A financing led by WRQ Sciences. With this transaction, WRQ Sciences has acquired majority ownership in the Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) diagnostics company, Molecular Stethoscope, Inc., which is now renamed Superfluid Diagnostics, Inc. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s (ADDF) Diagnostics Accelerator (DxA) participated in the Series A financing.
Molecular Stethoscope was founded in 2014 based on pioneering research at the Scripps Institute and Stephen Quake’s lab at Stanford University and has developed a test for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. Preliminary results show the approach yields greater accuracy than existing AD diagnostic tests.
“One million Americans per year develop Alzheimer’s Disease and the need for a fast and accurate diagnostic test is acute and expanding,” said Gajus Worthington, Superfluid Diagnostics’ CEO and Managing Director of WRQ Sciences. “Existing tests for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias can miss up to 30% of patients developing the disease and misdiagnose another third. The breakthrough work at Superfluid Diagnostics will transform the Alzheimer’s Disease diagnostic landscape.”
Most existing AD diagnostic tests target amyloid beta/tau and APOE markers. However current research shows AD has multiple pathological mechanisms, and many patients who are positive for amyloid beta and tau never develop AD. Superfluid Diagnostics’ liquid biopsy test addresses this challenge by measuring RNA released from brain cells, providing a direct measure of pathology. The test also surveys indirect pathological mechanisms in circulating cells which provides for a more precise diagnosis.
Superfluid’s goal is to build the most accurate diagnostic for neuro-degenerative diseases by harnessing the power of cell-free mRNA. Superfluid’s proprietary science and data analysis platform enables the diagnostic accessibility of cf-mRNA which is a fundamental signal for all cellular activity.
“This is a pivotal moment for Alzheimer’s Disease diagnostics,” continued Worthington. “The field of Alzheimer’s Disease research and drug development has blossomed over the past decade with more detailed understanding of the disease and the emergence of new potential treatments. There are currently over 140 therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s in later stage clinical trials addressing a variety of disease mechanisms. Accurate diagnostics that provide early insight into disease development are a critical component to robust trials and effective patient treatment.”
In July of 2023, the FDA gave its first traditional approval to LEQEMBI, an AD disease-modifying treatment that slows progression of the disease for some patients. Importantly, Medicare agreed to reimburse the new drug following FDA approval. And an FDA decision on donanemab is expected by early 2024.
“We finally have emerging treatment options for early stage AD,” said Regis Kelly, Byers Family Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF. “As a result, early detection tools that help to get the right therapies to the right patients at the right time are critical. In both treatment and drug trials, having fast and reliable diagnostic tests remain essential.”
“WRQ Sciences is excited to invest in Superfluid and apply our scientific investment method to build and grow the company”, said Kartik Raghavan, Managing Director of WRQ Sciences. WRQ Sciences investors are leaders from the life science, technology, and investment fields and include Brook Byers, Reid Hoffman, and Premji Invest.
Superfluid is currently engaging with therapeutics developers for clinical trials and research. For more information: http://superfluiddx.com/contact
Superfluid Dx is revolutionizing diagnosis for Alzheimer’s Disease. Superfluid is building a translational science and data analysis platform to harness the power of cell-free mRNA to diagnose neruo-degenerative and other diseases. Superfluid is based in South San Francisco and is led and funded by leaders from the life science, technology and investment fields. http://superfluiddx.com
WRQ Sciences is an investment firm committed to scientific methodology in its investments and constructive engagement with its portfolio companies across asset classes in life sciences. WRQ Sciences was founded by Kartik Raghavan and Gajus Worthington. http://wrqsciences.com
The Diagnostics Accelerator (DxA), created in July 2018, is a $100 million global research initiative from partners including ADDF Co-Founder Leonard A. Lauder, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, among others, to develop novel biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
This research initiative is dedicated to accelerating the development of affordable and accessible biomarkers to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and advance the clinical development of more targeted treatments. Through translational research awards and access to consulting support from industry experts, this program will challenge, assist and fund the research community in both academia and industry to develop novel peripheral and digital biomarkers.
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SOURCE Superfluid DX