Elli Kaplan, Neurotrack @ Aging2.0 | Washington, DC (8 Nov 2012)


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  • We’re Neurotrack and we’ve developed a technology to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms appear. 
  • Today, there are a few FDA approved drugs to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  But we have no drugs to prevent the disease from occurring.
  • And it’s not for lack of trying.  Some of the world’s largest drug companies have tried repeatedly. But sadly have failed over and over again.
  • The cost of failure is enormous – north of a billion dollars per compound – so expensive that some companies have actually gotten out of the market. But fortunately a number of drug companies continue to try with the hope of reaching the $10B market that these drugs represent – predicted to be the largest ever in pharmaceutical history.
  • So why are the drug companies failing?  We don’t know if it’s the drugs themselves, we can’t get there because the trials are flawed.  Drugs intended to prevent Alzheimer’s are being tested on people who are either too far gone or aren’t even at risk.  
  • So what would happen if we were able to diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier?  How would this change things?  Well we think the trials would work because the drugs would be tested on the right type of person – people who are pre-symptomatic but who we know will develop Alzheimer’s.  And with that we just might be able to make a preventive drug. Neurotrack’s technology does just this – we make it possible to test earlier and to find the right type of person for these drug trials.
  • Our technology was developed at Emory University, and tested during a 4-year NIH-funded study.  The test studies the way someone looks at pictures, and the way they experience new images. We then analyze that information using our patent pending algorithms and give a prognosis. 
  • And the results have been staggering: a diagnosis that is highly accurate and three years earlier than what exists today.  [If you score here we know with near certainty that they’re on a trajectory for Alzheimer’s disease. If someone scores here we know with even more certainty that they will not develop Alzheimer’s disease in the next three years] Three years that are crucial to testing drugs successfully. Three years when doctors will be able to intervene and halt the destruction.
  • Our plan is to first work with pharmaceuticals to help them develop a drug to combat the disease.  With around 100 new Alzheimer’s trials and 20,000 patients each year, we think the odds are pretty good. And we can deliver the right person for these trials. But I want to be clear, Neurotrack is not simply a cost savings tool for these trials. We stand between another drug failed trial and a multibillion dollar blockbuster. And we think pharmaceuticals will pay significant funds to reach that golden ring. And all we need is one drug to change the course of this devastating disease.
  • And when that drug hits the market, Neurotrack will already be there as the proven diagnostic for early screening of Alzheimer’s And with around 76 M people in the US just today who are of age for annual screening and even with a market penetration of 20% and a test cost of $200 that’s an annual market of $3B.  Of which we expect to capture a significant amount.  And I also want to be clear that there is no technology on the market that has the power to do what Neurotrack can do.
  • We’ve made great progress to date.  We have a product that works and has been tested on human subjects for the past 4 years. We have filed patents that are pending approval. We own the exclusive worldwide license  
  • I’m Elli Kaplan, I have a degree from Harvard Business School, and for the past 20 years I’ve held senior positions in the public and private sectors on some of the world’s most complicated problems. Dr. Colin McDonald, is our Chief Medical Officer. He’s a Harvard trained, practicing neurologist who also happens to be a serial entrepreneur.  And our team of scientists: Dr. Stuart Zola, Dr. Beth Buffalo and Dr. Eugene Agichtein are some of the world’s leading experts on Alzheimer’s disease, memory disorders and computer science.
  • This is a huge market and a huge problem. And we have the technology and the team to be part of the solution. We want to connect with pharmaceutical because we think we have an extraordinary solution for their biggest problem with developing Alzheimer’s drugs. And we’re looking for funding to build out our team, grow the company and take our technology to the next phase.
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