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Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation Funds Abiant, Inc. to Develop a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging Diagnostic for Alzheimer's Disease
Date:9/9/2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced today that it is providing a grant of $200,000 to Abiant, Inc. (Deerfield, IL), for the development of a highly accurate imaging diagnostic for Alzheimer's Disease. Abiant, a privately held company, is dedicated to the application of neuroimaging to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Abiant's diagnostic approach combines key advances in the analysis of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) images of the brain. The first of these was developed by Lisa Mosconi, PhD, Henry Rusinek, PhD, and Wai Tsui, PhD at the NYU School of Medicine's Center for Brain Health, directed by Mony de Leon, PhD. This advance allows the precise, automated measurement of glucose metabolism in the hippocampus, a brain structure that is critical to new memory formation and which is affected very early in Alzheimer's disease. Abiant is combining this with other key advances in statistical analysis tools that consolidate information from many regions in the brain into measurable patterns of disease progression. In studies using patients from academic centers worldwide, these approaches have been able to predict future decline, and to distinguish between types of dementia with very high accuracy.

"Abiant's diagnostic approach provides a potential path to clinician adoption and use of a powerful aid in early, accurate diagnosis that has not yet been achieved," says Howard Fillit, MD, ADDF's Executive Director. "The grant will enable Abiant to further validate and translate its approaches toward a beneficial tool for the Alzheimer's disease community."

"We are very pleased that ADDF is helping to fund our development efforts," comments Dawn Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of Abiant. "Not only will this help to accelerate our progress, but the ADDF will be a valuable partner in the guidance of our work toward broad clinical use."

Mony de Leon adds, "PET imaging measurement of activity in the brain, and in particular the hippocampus, can provide a powerful biomarker for the early and accurate detection of Alzheimer's disease. We are very pleased to see this step toward the translation of our research advances to clinical use."

ADDF is awarding the grant through its affiliate The Institute for the Study of Aging, Inc.

For more information about ADDF or to speak with Dr. Fillit, please contact Filomena Machleder at 212-901-8004 or fmachleder@alzdiscovery.org. For information about Abiant, please contact Dawn C. Matthews at (847) 707-0370 dcm@abiant-imaging.com.

About the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.

ADDF (www.alzdiscovery.org) is the only public charity whose sole mission is to accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease, related dementias and cognitive aging. We award grants to leading scientists conducting breakthrough drug discovery research. ADDF uses a venture philanthropy model to bridge the worldwide funding gap between basic research and later-stage development, using any return on investment to support new research. Since 1998, we have received over 1,600 requests to fund new ideas for Alzheimer's drugs. For all, we provided expert reviews and recommendations to advance their programs. We granted more than $35M to fund over 240 Alzheimer's drug discovery programs in academic centers and biotechnology companies in 12 countries. The ADDF website carries the latest, vetted news on Alzheimer's disease, updated weekly.

About Abiant, Inc.

Abiant, Inc. uses proprietary image analysis methods and software to provide sensitive biomarkers of drug effects and disease progression. This imaging information is intended to accelerate and improve accuracy of decision making in both disease diagnosis and drug development. Abiant has exclusively licensed technologies for accurate, automated measurement of information in PET images from NYU Langone Medical Center. The Company conducts imaging studies on novel pharmaceutical compounds for drug development companies. Abiant recently presented results of its analyses of Alzheimer's disease data at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD) and the Human Amyloid Imaging (HAI) Conference.

This press release may contain "forward-looking" statements identified by words such as "will," "achieve," and "enable." There are a number of important factors that could cause Abiant's results to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements.


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SOURCE Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
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