MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ--(Marketwired - June 07, 2016) - DiamiR, LLC, a developer of innovative minimally invasive diagnostic tests, announced today that the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded DiamiR a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of approximately $225,000 to support the development of the company's technology for monitoring of normal aging.
DiamiR has developed a proprietary targeted approach for early detection and monitoring of neurodegenerative and other diseases based on quantitative analysis of organ-enriched microRNA signatures in plasma.
"This study is a natural extension of our previous work focused on early detection and differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease," said Samuil Umansky, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of DiamiR and Principal Investigator on the grant. "We greatly appreciate the support of the NIH. This funding strengthens our ability to evaluate DiamiR's technology in the context of normal brain aging."
The study is conducted in collaboration with the New York Blood Center (NYBC).
"This grant presents an opportunity to gain more insight into natural brain aging, a scientific area of major relevance and significance that truly touches upon everyone's lives," said Dr. Beth H. Shaz, Chief Medical Officer, Senior Vice President of Medical Programs and Services, and Co- Director of the Lindsey F. Kimball Research Institute at the New York Blood Center. "NYBC is excited to partner with DiamiR to expand both our investigative works and knowledge to further not only this study, but impact the future of healthy aging science. We would like to thank the NIH for their continued support."
About microRNAs as biomarkers of brain health
microRNAs are a class of small non-coding regulatory RNA molecules, which modulate target gene expression and protein production, and whose levels often change in disease. Certain microRNAs are enriched in different brain regions (e.g. hippocampus, midbrain), cells (e.g. neurons), and cellular compartments (e.g. synapses and neurites). microRNAs can cross the blood-brain barrier and be detected in the bloodstream. Synapse dysfunction and/or loss occur early in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, microRNAs enriched in the brain, present in synapses and detectable in plasma can be powerful and patient-friendly biomarkers of brain health.
About New York Blood Center
Now more than 50 years old, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the country. NYBC's mission is to serve the 20 million people in the New York metropolitan area -- and more broadly, our nation and our world -- by alleviating human suffering and preserving human life using our medical expertise. Each year, NYBC provides approximately one million blood products to nearly 200 hospitals in the Northeast. NYBC also provides a wide array of transfusion-related medical services. NYBC is also home to the world's largest public cord blood bank, which provides stem cells for transplant in many countries, and a renowned research institute, which -- among other milestones -- developed the hepatitis B vaccine and innovative blood purification technology. Website: www.nybc.org
DiamiR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DiamiR Biosciences Corp., is a privately held molecular diagnostics company focused on developing minimally invasive tests for early detection and monitoring of Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and other conditions. The proprietary technology is based on quantitative analysis of organ-enriched microRNA signatures in plasma and is being developed for screening, patient stratification as well as disease progression and treatment monitoring. DiamiR collaborates with leading academic and clinical centers and disease foundations. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.diamirbio.com.
Please Note: This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events. These statements are just predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual events or results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: the results, timing, costs and regulatory review of our studies and clinical trials; the results of studies of our product candidates conducted by others; our ability to obtain future funding on acceptable terms; our ability to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates; the possible impairment of, or inability to obtain, intellectual property rights; and innovation by our competitors.
Kira Sheinerman, PhD, MBA