NGeneBio said on Friday it has developed a prototype of a blood-based in vitro diagnostic device to detect early dementia using a biomarker discovered in the National Dementia Research and Development project.

NGeneBio will expand the use of its cancer diagnosis technology for diagnosing patients with dementia at an early stage.
NGeneBio will expand the use of its cancer diagnosis technology for diagnosing patients with dementia at an early stage.

The importance of early diagnosis of dementia is growing in Korea with the rapid population aging and the rising number of patients with Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

According to data released by the Central Dementia Center in 2021, the number of dementia patients aged 65 or older is about 830,000, accounting for about 10 percent of the senior population group.

The company said it developed an NGS panel and analysis software that can diagnose Parkinson's and DLB at an early stage. The technology is applicable to various dementia clinical trials because it can predict genetic factors and risks in a single test, said an NGeneBio official.

NGeneBio and Asan Medical Center jointly filed two patents regarding the technology.

"In the global aging era, the demand for early diagnosis of dementia is increasing," said Kim Kwang-joong, head of NGeneBio's research institute. "In this regard, we would like to expand the use of our cancer precision diagnosis technology as an early diagnosis technology for dementia to help reduce social costs required for diagnosis, treatment and management of degenerative brain diseases."

Kim added that the company will launch a product that includes all dementia-related genetic factors currently tested in clinical sites for use in domestic and international laboratories, which can accurately detect and analyze the genetic variation.

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