This week we’re traveling to Spain, which merges a rich history with a growing biotech ecosystem. In Valladolid, the same city where Cervantes finished writing Don Quixote back in the 17th century, today the biotech Biocross is developing non-invasive tests to detect Alzheimer’s before the symptoms are visible.
Mission: a spin-off of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Biocross studies blood biomarkers to improve the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases using non-invasive methods. The company is developing three different tests designed to be used at different stages of Alzheimer’s: asymptomatic, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and symptomatic. The three of them are expected to become available this year.
Comment: there’s a huge need for diagnostics in neurodegenerative disease, and early detection of Alzheimer’s can make a huge impact in the treatment of the disease. After the big failure of Eli Lilly’s Alzheimer’s drug solanezumab in Phase III, researchers are arguing that treating the disease earlier can be the key to a successful treatment. Technology such as the tests developed at Biocross can make a huge difference towards making better neurodegenerative drugs.
Cover image: Castillo de la Mota in Valladolid by siete_vidas /Shutterstock. Images from Labiotech Map and Biocross.