Cognoptix has created an eye-scanning assay that can be used to identify a patient's risk for Alzheimer's disease early and in a noninvasive manner. The device, comprised of ophthalmic ointment and a laser-based reading system, was developed using technology licensed from the University of California in San Diego.
Preliminary findings showed that Opko Health's blood test proved to be 95% accurate in spotting antibodies associated with Alzheimer's disease, the company announced. Dr. Phillip Frost, Opko's chairman and chief executive, said he plans to schedule a meeting with the FDA to discuss the next move for the development of the diagnostic test.
Neuronetrix has finished the first clinical trial of its Cognision System -- a device designed for the early detection of Alzheimer's and other neurological conditions -- at the University of Kentucky. The company plans in 2009 to start an extensive, multicenter study of the device.
Biotech businesses in California -- including those focused on drug development, medical devices and diagnostics -- raked in more than 40% of the $7.4 billion in biotech venture capital in 2006, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report. The industry's steady growth could be hampered, however, as the federal government is likely to have increased involvement in oversight of drug safety and cost-effectiveness.
Several companies are investigating implanted electronic devices to help people fight obesity. The pacemaker-like devices affect a nerve linked to feelings of hunger and fullness and may be safer than surgery.