German-based biopharmaceutical company Probiodrug has entered into an agreement with the Dutch biotech company Crossbeta Biosciences, to use the latter’s proprietary technology in support of Probiodrug’s biomarker development activities for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

AD is a neurological disorder and is the most common form of dementia, eventually leading to death.

Crossbeta chief executive officer Guus Scheefhals said: "This strategic partnership with Probiodrug is very exciting and an important recognition of our expertise and capabilities.

"As a clinical-stage company, Probiodrug is a particularly important partner in our growing collaborative network. We look forward to contributing towards the development of this promising therapeutic approach targeting AD."

"This strategic partnership with Probiodrug is very exciting and an important recognition of our expertise and capabilities."

AD currently affects about 26 million people worldwide, and is characterised by misfolded beta-amyloid and tau proteins.

The oligomeric forms of these proteins play an important role in the patho-physiology of the disease.

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Probiodrug chief development officer Inge Lues said: "We are very pleased to announce the collaboration with Crossbeta.

"The potential of Crossbeta’s unique technology has significant impact to overcome the challenge of establishing and validating sensitive and specific assays for Abeta-oligomers and pGlu-Abeta-oligomers to be used in the clinical studies of Probiodrug’s lead candidate, Glutaminyl Cyclase (QC) inhibitor PQ912."

Oligomer-specific research and development (R&D) of therapeutics, biomarkers and diagnostics is very challenging because of the inherent instability of the protein aggregates.

The proprietary stabilisation technology provided by Crossbeta helps generate pure and functional preparations of oligomeric protein species.

This helps overcome the problem and allow highly reproducible and well-controlled assays for pre-clinical and clinical R&D.