"Our vision is to change the course of Alzheimer's disease by enabling early diagnosis at the point of care," Paul Hartung, president and CEO of Cognoptix (Acton, MA) told analysts at the 9th Annual Lux Executive Summit: Seizing the Innovation Initiative (March 31, 2014, Boston, MA). In February, Cognoptix announced that the strong results of a multisite clinical trial of its SAPPHIRE II eye test, which is designed to identify Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients via a beta-amyloid (Ab) signature in their eyes, were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias (AJA).
"We have made great progress," Hartung added, "in developing an early-stage, noninvasive diagnostic test for AD designed to allow treatment to start before significant neuronal loss and irreversible brain damage occur."
Hartung, who orchestrated the first-ever Series A syndicated Angel deal in the Northeast, has closed Seed, Series A, Series B, and Series C rounds of financing for Cognoptix totaling $17 million with an international Angel and VC syndicate. He has extensive management experience launching successful startup businesses and leading Fortune 500 organizations.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, while physicians can almost always determine whether a person has dementia, it may be difficult to determine the cause. Cognoptix is focused on developing and commercializing an in-office, drug/device diagnostic system as an aid in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease. Its investors include Inventages Venture Capital, one of the world's largest life sciences-, nutrition-, and wellness-focused venture capital firms; Launchpad Venture Group, a Boston-based Angel investment firm that provides funding to early-stage companies; and Maine Angels, accredited private equity investors in promising New England entrepreneurs and companies. SAPPHIRE II is approved for investigational use only in the United States.