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Project TitleA Specific Antibody for Mechanistic Indicators of Plaque Formation in Neurodegenerative Disease
Track CodeR-BA-002
Short DescriptionAntibody that binds an epitope that holds promise to be sensitive and specific to ALS
Tagsamyotrophic lateral sclerosis, als, antibody, biomarker, charcot's disease, diagnostic, genetic disease, genetic marker, health & life sciences, lifesciences, lou gehrig's disease, motor neuron degeneration, neurodegeneration, prognostic, r&d discovery, research reagent, cns
Posted DateJan 7, 2010 1:20 PM


A leading Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) scientist at Robarts has generated an antibody that binds an epitope that holds promise to be sensitive and specific to ALS. The polyclonal antibody is fully developed, is very clean, and is specific to an epitope modification on a well accepted ALS disease related protein. This offering represents the only commercially available antibody for this specific epitope. A scientific publication relating to the epitope is pending in the near future.

Potential Applications




State of Development

Fully Developed




Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also referred to as Charcot’s Disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is the most common form of progressive motor neuron disease (MND) in North America on an annual basis. ALS is progressive, and fatal through the disabling of a patients’ voluntary muscle control. With a usual onset between 55 and 65 years of age, ALS or its derivatives retain both a genetic and sporadic occurrence. The current clinical criteria for the diagnosis of ALS are established only when the illness is at the debilitating advanced stages. Early diagnosis is extremely challenging; with a medical test regime that can take up to two years at a cost of approximately $6,000 per patient case. Although there are relatively few occurrences of ALS across the seven major markets, the ALS market was valued at $148M in 2006. With the only approved treatment for ALS facing generic incursion in 2013, there has been a sense of urgency to better understand the mechanisms behind the disease, determine early diagnoses, and discover replacement therapies.

Research into the mechanisms of ALS and its discrimination from other neurodegenerative diseases has surged in recent years. A simple Pubmed search of scientific publications discussing Neurodegenerative Disease pulls up over 46,319 recent publications. Similarly, a search of publications involving ALS reveals a total of 8,248 scientific papers with almost 40% of those being generated within the past 5 years. A search for publications specifically involving the Tau intermediate protein family that has been implicated in ALS and other neurodegenerative disease reveals 7,978 scientific publications in the past five years, and 22,258 overall within the Pubmed database. Clearly there is a strong market for research tools and reagents that examine mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease and specifically ALS.


  • Can be well bundled with related antibodies into an exploratory research kit
  • Tool for investigating sporadic ALS and not just the rare familial ALS
  • Potential of identifying mechanisms of action associated with fibril condensation
  • Can serve as a platform of screening ALS within a battery of neurological diagnostic tests
  • Capable of investigating sporadic ALS and not just the rare familial ALS
  • Potential of identifying those patients with a higher risk of variants of ALS
  • Antibody is very clean and specific
  • No commercially available antibody for epitope
  • Pending publication renders excellent marketing opportunity



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