UAlbany Chemist Available to Discuss Eli Lilly Alzheimer’s Drug

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 9, 2024) — Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new Alzheimer’s medication developed by Eli Lilly that has shown in clinical trials to moderately delay the progression of memory and cognitive decline in individuals affected by the disease.

The medication, donanemab, which will be sold under the brand name Kisunla, is the second FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug.

University at Albany chemist Igor Lednev is the co-founder, along with his son Alex, of Early Alzheimer’s Diagnostics LLC. The start-up is focused on developing a laser-based screening tool that tests saliva or blood samples for the detection of early and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.

“After many decades spent unsuccessfully chasing treatments for Alzheimer’s, it is encouraging to see additional treatment options become available for those impacted by this devastating disease,” Lednev said. “Although this is only a small, hard-fought step on our long journey to curing Alzheimer’s, we are hopeful that it will lead to continued innovation and a better understanding of its pathology.”

Over the past decade, Lednev has pioneered the use of Raman spectroscopy, an analytical technique where scattered light is used to obtain the molecular vibrational characteristics of a sample, for forensic and medical diagnostic purposes.

Lednev’s preliminary research has shown that Raman spectroscopy, coupled with machine learning algorithms, can differentiate the biochemical composition of blood and saliva from Alzheimer’s patients and healthy individuals, and determine the stage of the disease.

The technique is patented and has received federal support from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation Small Business Technology Transfer grants.

“Our company is working on novel Alzheimer’s diagnostic methods using blood and/or saliva. We are aiming to detect the disease at its earliest stages, exactly what Eli Lilly’s newly FDA-approved drug, donanemab, has been designed to target,” Lednev said.

Lednev is available to discuss his screening tool to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and the new FDA-approved drug with media via Zoom/Skype or in-person at UAlbany’s Life Sciences Building.

About the University at Albany: 

The University at Albany is one of the most diverse public research institutions in the nation and a national leader in educational equity and social mobility. As a Carnegie-classified R1 institution, UAlbany and its faculty and students are creating critical new knowledge in fields such as artificial intelligence, atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, education, public health, social sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering, informatics, public administration and social welfare. Our courses are taught by an accomplished roster of faculty experts with student success at the center of everything we do. Through our parallel commitments to academic excellence, scientific discovery and service to community, UAlbany molds bright, curious and engaged leaders and launches great careers. 



withyou android app