Integral Molecular, the industry leader in membrane protein technologies, was awarded to Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the NIH to initiate a target discovery program for Alzheimer's disease. Under the grant, Integral Molecular will use its highly successful Membrane Proteome Array (MPA) platform to discover novel neuroimmune targets for treating Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Alzheimer's disease

(AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events (short-term memory loss). As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation(including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioural issues. 

As a person's condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.

Integral Molecular, the industry leader in membrane protein technologies, was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the NIH to initiate a target discovery program for Alzheimer's disease. Under the grant, Integral Molecular will use its highly successful Membrane Proteome Array (MPA) platform to discover novel neuroimmune targets for treating Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. 

Neurodegenerative diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are a leading cause of death and disability for 6.5 million older Americans. A significant roadblock in the development of new treatments has been the lack of druggable targets. Recent research suggests that dysregulation of the immune system can cause or exacerbate many neurodegenerative diseases. The identification of new proteins that can regulate the neuroimmune system could enable the discovery of an entirely new generation of therapeutics with the potential to treat, delay, or even prevent Alzheimer's disease.

"The lack of effective targets in Alzheimer's disease has held back the discovery of new drugs to treat it," says Benjamin Doranz, CEO of Integral Molecular. "We have already identified new targets in the immuno-oncology and infectious disease fields using our MPA platform, so we are excited to expand our work to include neurodegenerative diseases."

Integral Molecular's MPA technology is composed of 5,300 human membrane proteins expressed in their functional form on the surface of live human cells, allowing signaling and binding assays to detect functional interactions. Integral Molecular has already used the MPA to identify novel targets and protein interactions in various therapeutic areas, as well as to obtain off-target binding profiles to de-risk drug development.