Intelligent Lab on a Fiber
Using AI algorithms combined with photonics-based signals, iLoF's solution can accurately screen for biomarkers that indicate Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative diseases. This allows for noninvasive testing of patients in drug trials for Alzheimer's, greatly increasing the likelihood that those trials will be completed.
After more than 14 years and the failure of 400 major Alzheimer's trials, change is needed in the approach we take to these clinical trials. About 90% of initially enrolled patients leave trials due to invasive, inconvenient screening, causing development of potentially effective drugs to be abandoned. A less-invasive test like the one developed by iLoF could solve this problem.
The iLoF team took its current composition during EIT Health’s Wild Card programme. A Portuguese team – including Luis Valente, Dr. Joana Pavia and Prof. Paula Sampaio – began their Wild Card adventure together, with a new technology and the promise of providing a system for early diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease. During the programme, the team grew with the recruitment of a fourth founder, Dr. Mehak Mumtaz, and changed their value proposition from early diagnosis to a stratification tool.
iLoF's solution combines the light science of photonics with Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to allow for noninvasive screening of patients in drug trials for Alzheimer's. By making clinical trials convenient and patient centric, the solution promises to reduce the high rate (90%) of patients who drop out of studies due to the current invasive, inconvenient screening methods. iLoF’s technology also cuts the cost of screening these patients by 40% and reduces screening time by 70%.
All of this possible due to patented technology that detects gold-standard proteins and exosomes using a photonics and AI system. These proteins and exosomes are like “fingerprints” of Alzheimer's disease and therefore unique to it, making their accurate detection perfect for patient stratification.
The EIT Health Wild Card programme helped shaped the purpose of the iLoF solution so that it is now being developed for stratification of clinical patients – determining the level of Alzheimer's that they have at any given time. Through the Wild Card programme, the team receives mentoring and financial support of up to €2 million to commercialise their novel solution.
The most immediate impact of iLoF's solution is expected to be improved testing in clinical trials to treat Alzheimer's. Implementation of iLoF’s solution will help make sure that no potential drug for Alzheimer’s gets abandoned due to cost or patient drop out. The impact on patients, payers, hospitals and society in general could be huge. In addition, the innovation is enabling a world where all biomarkers have a fingerprint, and this could have an impact beyond the field of neurological disorders.
Why this is EIT Health project
This project addressed the 2019 EIT Health Wild Card Challenge of Mental and Brain Health, and so it was designed to meet EIT Health's goals and focus areas. EIT Health's Wild Card programme facilitated co-creation of this project through competitive selection and assisted with team formation and training. Along with financial support, EIT Health and its network continues to provide mentoring, organisational coaches and incubator support.
See the project's website: www.ilof.tech