Qiagen and Neuron23 team up to develop CDx for Parkinson’s disease drug

Qiagen and Neuron23 have entered into an agreement to develop a next-generation sequencing (NGS) companion diagnostic (CDx) for the latter’s brain-penetrating leucine-rich repeat kinase (LRRK2) inhibitor for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Under the terms of the agreement, Qiagen will be responsible for the development and validation of a clinical trial test that will identify the combination of biomarkers found by Neuron23 to verify the response of Parkinson’s disease to the LRRK2 inhibitor.

The alliance between the companies will also support the clinical development of Neuron23’s drug candidate, which is now in the final stages of preclinical development.

Additionally, the agreement includes an option to develop additional companion diagnostics, subject to further clinical development.

Qiagen said the test will be integrated into an NGS workflow that will use the company’s Sample to Insight capabilities. These include in vitro diagnostic (IVD) sample preparation, bioinformatics, instrumentation, and library preparation.

As part of the NGS strategic partnership between Qiagen and Illumina, the NextSeq™ 500 System will be used to create the workflow.

Based on Neuron23’s drug and biomarker discovery platform, which is enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), it aims to target 50 unique nucleopolymorphisms (SNPs) for US and European populations.

Eventually, it will target additional SNPs that are more common in Asian populations.

Jonathan Arnold, Director and Vice President of Qiagen Oncology and Precision Diagnostics, said, “The collaboration with Neuron23 shows that precision medicine is rapidly gaining momentum in disease areas outside of oncology.

“Our expertise in blood- and NGS-based molecular testing, from Sample to Insight, will allow Neuron23 to conduct a clinical trial for a drug candidate with the potential to alter the course of an inexorable neurodegenerative disease in a genetically defined population. “

The company said there are no lab tests available to diagnose Parkinson’s disease in non-genetic cases.

Instead, medical history and neurological exams are used to diagnose the condition.

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