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Project TitleThree Phospho Specific Human Antibodies for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Screening
Track CodeR-BA-002
Short Description

A leading ALS scientist at Robarts has identified and explored three phosphorylation sites on the au protein that are suggestive of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, we have generated and validated three different human polyclonal antibodies to these three unique sites on the tau protein. These antibodies are fully developed, highly specific, sensitive and characterized demonstrating reproducible and reliable results in competition assays, immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis.

Tagsals, Lou Gehrig's disease, human antibody, tau protein, diagnostic testing, research reagent, motor neuron degeneration, neurodegeneration
Posted DateSep 2, 2010 10:26 AM


Bryce Pickard


The global pharmaceutical market is now worth approximately $600 billion with neuroscience being one of the 6 major therapeutic areas. Specifically, neurotherapeutics alone has an expected value of $88 billion in 2010. Current research in neurodegenerative disease treatment is expected to contribute nearly $9 billion to the global market by 2015. Leading the way in neurodegenerative research is a class of diseases called “tauopathies”. Tauopathies are a group of diverse dementias and movement disorders which have a common pathological feature in that they all display the presence of intracellular accumulation of abnormal filaments of tau protein. Further, these accumulated tau proteins all display an abnormal phosphorylation pattern that may be disease specific. As an example, 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 in North America. ALS gradually disables the patients voluntary motor muscle control until it becomes fatal. Early diagnosis is extremely challenging as a medical test regime can take up to two years at a cost of approximately $6,000.00 dollars per patient. As such, there is a sense of urgency to better understand the mechanisms behind the disease, better refine early diagnosis, and discover replacement therapies. A better understanding of how tau contributes to the degeneration of the neurons as well as the changes associated in tau during disease progression may hold the key to refining diagnosis and developing therapies for ALS.

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 30,000 publications in the last three years. Similarly, a search of publications involving ALS reveals a total of 2,619 publications in the last three years with 40% of those publications being generated in the last year. Additionally, a specific search for tauopathies pulls up over 9,000 publications in the last three years. Clearly there is a strong market for research tools and reagents that examine the mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease involving the tau protein.

Potential Advantages/Uses

  • Can be bundled with related antibodies into an exploratory research kit.
  • Can serve as a platform for screening ALS within a battery of neurological diagnostic tests.
  • Potential for development into a diagnostic tool for ALS.
  • Antibodies show no cross reactivity with mouse, are fully validated, clean, specific and reliable.
  • Effective for a wide range of molecular tools including immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis.

Select Publications

Gohar et. al. 2009. Tau phosphorylation at threonine-175 leads to fibril formation and enhanced cell death: implications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with cognitive impairment. J. Neurochemistry Feb; 108(3).

Strong et. al. 2006. Tau protein hyperphosphorylation in sporadic ALS with cognitive impairment. Neurology Jun; 66(11).


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