MP Biomedicals Introduces All-Inclusive Alzheimer's Research Kit

SANTA ANA, CA--(Marketwire - November 05, 2007) - Neuro-immunology research tool could be used to screen for Alzheimer's disease immunotherapeutics, which improve macrophage beta-amyloid uptake ability. -- Alzheimer's Research Kit is an all-inclusive macrophages beta-amyloid uptake assay kit developed for neuroimmunological research and immunostimulant drug screening. -- Pioneering the ability to test for Alzheimer's disease through a simple blood test, the Alzheimer's Research Kit is the first blood cell- based research assay that measures the ability of the human immune system to rid itself of amyloid beta. -- MP Biomedicals' neuro-immunological research tool could help researchers, neuroscientists and pharmaceutical companies predict and/or stave off Alzheimer's disease. MP Biomedicals LLC today announced the availability of an Alzheimer's Research Kit. This cell-based, patent-pending assay, which measures macrophage beta-amyloid uptake, is suited for Alzheimer's research diagnostical and neuro-immunological studies, and could help screen candidates for Alzheimer's or neuro-immunostimulant drug therapies in the future. MP Biomedicals will debut its Alzheimer's Research Kit today and tomorrow at Neuroscience 2007 in San Diego (Booth 417). Alzheimer's is a progressive and fatal brain disease affecting more than 5 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing debilitating problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. "The human brain is an intricate network of more than 100 billion neurons, or nerve cells, that help control thinking, learning, remembering, physical movement, sensory experiences -- such as seeing, hearing and smelling -- and more," said Mike McLean, vice president, diagnostics worldwide, MP Biomedicals. "Alzheimer's disease damages these nerve cells, which eventually die. MP Biomedicals has taken an active stance in creating a diagnostic assay based on the breakthrough research developed and conducted by Dr. Milan Fiala, which concludes that we can enhance the ability of the immune system to clear beta-amyloid deposits in the brain that hasten the progression Alzheimer's disease in patients." "The MP Biomedicals Alzheimer's Research Kit is excellent for testing new immuno-enhancing drug candidates for fighting Alzheimer's disease. Some of the new drug candidates that were tested include curcuminoid and insulin-like growth factor-1, and have provided superb results that are persuasive in some Alzheimer's disease patients," said Dr. Fiala, researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Fiala will be available to discuss the attributes of the Research Kit at Neuroscience 2007 on Monday, Nov. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the MP Biomedicals booth (# 417). From blood sample to diagnosis in four steps, the Neuro-Immunology Research Kit could determine if a patient displays markers indicating Alzheimer's disease. After obtaining a patient's blood sample, labs can isolate and then culture the macrophages. The laboratory then adds labeled beta-amyloid to the specimen and incubates it overnight in a humidified carbon dioxide incubator. The final step is to stain the cells and observe results with fluorescence or confocal microscope and render a diagnosis. Two abnormal structures called plaques and tangles are prime suspects in damaging and killing nerve cells. Plaques build up between nerve cells, depositing a protein fragment, called beta-amyloid. Tangles are twisted fibers of another protein, called tau. Tangles form inside dying cells. With Alzheimer's, the plaques and tangles tend to form in a predictable pattern, beginning in areas important in learning and memory and then spreading to other regions. The MP Biomedicals Neuro-Immunology Research Kit helps clinicians measure the ability of the immune system to clear beta-amyloid. "Macrophages of Alzheimer's patients do not clear amyloid beta by ingesting and digesting it (a process called phagocytosis), but only retain it on the cell surface. In a healthy subject, macrophages successfully 'eat up' amyloid beta fragments by phagocytosis into intracellular locations, such as endosomes and lysosomes. Our research kit, for the first time, allows researchers, using common laboratory equipment, to examine the details of phagocytosis of amyloid beta in order to screen for Alzheimer's disease, or to screen for potential increases in the macrophages' ability to 'attack' amyloid beta after exposure to a potential drugs candidate," said Dr. Miodrag Micic, vice president, research and development, MP Biomedicals. Clinicians may add the Neuro-Immunology Research Kit to their laboratories today by ordering a trial kit from MP Biomedicals by calling (800) 854-0530 or visiting About MP Biomedicals LLC MP Biomedicals is a worldwide corporation, with headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif., and regional offices in Europe, Asia and Australia. The company manufactures and sells more than 55,000 products. One of the only companies in the industry to offer a comprehensive line of life science, fine chemical and diagnostic products, the organization maintains a vast network of global distributors with ISO-certified diagnostics products facilities in Solon, Ohio, Burlingame, Calif. and Singapore, as well a distribution center in Strasbourg, France. Media Contact: Sally Cohen or Theresa Dreike WunderMarx Inc. for MP Biomedicals LLC 714-862-1112