Tokyo (SCCIJ) – Altoida, the Luzerne-based Swiss start-up for early Alzheimer detection, has reached a funding agreement with Eisai Innovation, the strategic investment subsidiary of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai. The new financing will be used to accelerate Altoida’s continued scientific research, product development, and global commercialization.
Brain health check-up
Altoida describes itself as a pioneer in brain health and leader in the digital biomarkers space. The young company headquartered in Switzerland is working internationally to create a new standard in brain health measurement and predictive identification of neurodegenerative conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease, before the onset of symptoms and irreversible brain damage occurs.
“Eisai’s deep expertise and global leadership in dementia-related diseases and neurodegenerative diseases makes them a perfect partner to accelerate our ability to develop and deliver high-accuracy predictive brain health diagnostics in a non-invasive, cost-effective, and scalable way,” said Travis Bond, CEO of Altoida.
Innovation in disease diagnosis is needed to identify patients in need of therapy earlier, and in a more convenient way for both patients and health care providers. While traditional paper-and-pencil tests to assess memory and analyze cognitive impairment are a staple of modern practice, they may lack the efficiency, sensitivity, and data analytics infrastructure to be scalable as the 21st century tool for early testing.
Rather than complete a memory test or similar questionnaire, Altoida’s users complete a 10-minute set of digital and augmented reality activities on their smartphone or tablet. The activities are designed to feel like a game and immerse the brain to assess it in its most realistic state. From these activities, Altoida collects data from the sensors in the users’ device to analyze nearly 750 proprietary digital biomarkers and provide an objective measurement of brain function across 11 unique cognitive domains.
With these personalized brain measurements, Altoida is working to use artificial intelligence to predict an individual’s risk of conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease, years in advance of symptoms. This should enable preventative and therapeutic intervention to help delay disease onset and improve patient management and outcomes.
“The work Altoida is doing with digital biomarkers may prove to revolutionize how we approach dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, allowing interventions years ahead of traditional methods,” said Kazumasa Nagayama, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Eisai. “We hope Altoida will ew therapy options to millions of patients and their families”.
Through its “Eisai Dementia Platform”, the Japanese company plans to deliver novel benefits to those living with dementia and their families through constructing a “Dementia Ecosystem,” by collaborating with partners such as medical organizations, diagnostic development companies, research organizations, and bio-ventures in addition to private insurance agencies, finance industries, fitness clubs, automobile makers, retailers, and care facilities.
Text: SCCIJ based on material of Altoida