Aptamer shares up 100% amid Alzheimer’s test news

Shares of York-based life sciences firm Aptamer Group plc soared more than 100% on Wednesday after the company and Oxford-based Neuro-Bio announced “success in the development of Optimer binders to enable a lateral flow test for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Aptamer shares rose as much as 120% to around 20p, giving the company a stock market value of about £14 million.

The York firm said: “Aptamer Group has successfully developed a panel of Optimer binders to a novel Alzheimer’s disease biomarker.

“The Optimer binders have been patented by partners at Neuro-Bio, following the demonstration of performance in specifically binding to the target biomarker and functionality in a nasal mucous matrix.

“Further integration of the binders into a routine lateral flow test will support the clinical and commercial development of rapid diagnostics for Alzheimer’s disease via simple nasal sampling, with the potential to diagnose the disease as early as 10-20 years before symptoms emerge.

“The novel Alzheimer’s disease biomarker, a peptide ‘T14’was discovered and is currently being further validated by Neuro-Bio, led by the eminent neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield.

“Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is critical to allow interventions that could prevent the onset of devastating memory loss and confusion in these patients.

“Neuro-Bio is working in parallel to develop a complementary therapy that could stabilise disease progression in diagnosed patients, ideally at the presymptomatic stage.”

Aptamer Group interim CEO Rob Quinn said: “We are pleased to be able to support the team at Neuro-Bio with the development of Optimer binders to enable their revolutionary diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease.

“Optimer binders have proven performance in lateral flow test formats and our success in delivering functional Optimer binders to Neuro-Bio’s biomarker facilitates further diagnostic development.

“With an increasingly aging population and no current tests available for early-stage diagnosis, the advancement of new biomarkers and diagnostics in this field offers hope to the millions of patients and their loved ones worldwide.”

Neuro-Bio CEO Susan Greenfield said: We’re delighted to be working with Aptamer Group on this potentially game-changing technology to combat one of the biggest unmet medical needs of our time.

“It’s a further example of UK ingenuity and teamwork for highly innovative and disruptive science.’