RedoxDiag-LogoRedox Diagnostics has developed an efficient and effective test to detect Alzheimer’s disease, a diagnostic assay that is simple and inexpensive. In addition, we are constructing an assay panel that promises to detect mitochondrial diseases and other neurological disorders. Having a test to determine the onset of Alzheimer’s disease will be a gamechanger, enabling early therapy and aiding the development of personalized medicine solutions, helping millions and saving billions.

Redox Dx was developed through a research partnership with Dignity Health and Midwestern University and is led by the inventor, Dr. Jon Valla, a long-time member of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium.

Our Diagnostics

Simple, Efficient, Inexpensive and Accurate.

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Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

Our goal is to create an early diagnostic that detects AD before pathology develops and before symptoms begin to show.

Diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, responsible for the generation of much of the energy required for its normal function.

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Alzheimer's Diagnostics

Learn more about our Alzheimer's Disease Diagnostic

Our goal is to create an early diagnostic that detects Alzheimer's Disease before pathology develops and before symptoms begin to show.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)?

CoupleAtTableAlzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain and is the most common form of dementia in elderly (ages 65 years and older). Currently, about five million people suffer from AD in the U.S. and that number is expected to triple by 2050. There is no cure for AD.

How is AD currently diagnosed?

The standard method of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease is through a specialized neurological exam. Other methods to diagnose AD are currently in clinical trials, such as brain imaging (e.g. PET scan). AD is only truly diagnosed once a patient passes away and an autopsy is performed, which will show primarily amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangle development, along with severe cerebral atrophy.

What is the AD diagnosis method that Redox Diagnostics uses?

The cause and sequence of early events in AD pathophysiology are not known with any certainty, and thus reliable tools for the early, preclinical detection of the disease have also largely escaped discovery.

FatherAndDaughterSince AD is widely viewed as a ”brain” disease, proposed diagnostic biomarkers of AD processes typically have relied on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood markers of degeneration and known AD neuropathology or, recently, direct measures of the brain itself, as in the ongoing NIH-sponsored Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), which focuses on the use of in vivo brain imaging and novel amyloid-labeling techniques. The majority of these tests require relatively uncommon and costly equipment or laborious processing.

The ongoing research in our laboratory and others has indicated that certain functional declines specific to AD brain can be detected in peripheral cells, including and especially platelets. This functional deficiency was first reported in 1990 (Parker et al., Neurology 40) and replicated by the same group in 1994 (Parker et al., Neurology 44).

In 2002, a second group reported the deficiency and compared it directly to brain (Bosetti et al., Neurobiol Aging 23). And a third group followed in 2004 (Cardoso et al., Neurobiol Aging 25). Finally, in 2006 we published our study of platelets in well-characterized AD patients, subjects who suffered mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a preclinical precursor to full-blown AD, and aged controls (Valla et al., Mitochondrion 6). We found the previously-reported deficiency in AD, and, for the first time, extended that functional deficiency in platelets to subjects at the earlier MCI stage.

ChemistryThese findings provide a strong basis for the use of this biomarker in the early, specific, and sensitive detection of AD functional pathophysiology using an easily-accessible tissue (blood). The assays used in all of this earlier work, however, required considerable processing, mitochondrial isolation, and relatively complex assay procedures. We have developed an assay that measures the same enzyme function, but requires m inimal preprocessing and no mitochondrial isolation.
What is the purpose of an early diagnostic for AD?

Our goal is to create an early diagnostic that detects AD before pathology develops and before symptoms begin to show. The assay that we are working on is simple, efficient, inexpensive and accurate — making it a superior diagnostic method for AD. Additionally, this assay can be used in pharmaceutical trials to create specific test populations.  This in turn will expedite research and clinical trials for advanced AD treatment.

Mitochondrial Disease Diagnostics

Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, responsible for the generation of much of the energy required for its normal function.

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Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, responsible for the generation of much of the energy the cell requires for its normal function. Mitochondria also play a role in a multitude of other contexts, including control of ion levels, synthesis of certain macromolecules, and more. Mitochondria are a very unique structure within the cells: unlike no other, they contain their own set of DNA coding several proteins and tRNAs. And unlike the DNA contained within the nucleus, the mitochondrial genome is inherited entirely from one’s mother.

Mitochondrial disease encompasses a number of syndromes in which mitochondrial function is impaired, due to either a defect in mitochondrial DNA or defects in nuclear DNA that affect mitochondrial function. Individually, most of these diseases are extremely rare, but collectively, they have a wide-ranging impact.

Diagnosis of mitochondrial disease is a difficult process requiring a broad assessment of several physiological measures. One commonly-performed test involves the isolation of mitochondria from affected tissues (often muscle taken via biopsy) followed by laboratory assessment of the electron transport chain (ETC) enzymes and other mitochondrial enzymes via spectrophotometric “color-changing” assays. These assays are laborious, difficult, unreliable, and vary from lab-to-lab (see Gellerich et al., 2004, Mitochondrion 4), yet they are used to diagnose patients everyday around the world.

We have now developed an assay and platform for one of the ETC enzyme complexes that requires minimal preprocessing, no mitochondrial isolation, and is extremely simple and inexpensive to perform. Using the same novel modality, we are developing enzymatic assays for the other ETC enzymes as well as other enzymes of interest. It is our hope that these new assays can aid in the standardization of mitochondrial disease testing.

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The Team

We create exceptional diagnostics.

Jon Valla

Founder/CEO

Jon Valla, PhD, received a BA in Psychology from Minnesota State University at Mankato, and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Austin. He has studied mitochondrial enzyme function in Alzheimer’s disease since 1994. He joined the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium in 2000 and opened his first research laboratory in 2003 at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

AZ Furnace Business Mentors

David McCaleb

David McCaleb is the CEO of Susavion Biosciences and has been active in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for over 30 years. He is also the President of McCaleb Associates, a consulting firm to the leading biotech companies. As the former SVP of Commercial Operations at CV Therapeutics, McCaleb developed the company’s commercial infrastructure and launching their first product. He has directed the worldwide introduction for several billion dollar products including Merck’s Vasotec and Amgen’s Neupogen. He received his MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business and his MS in Developmental Biology from Marquette University.

Robert S. Green

Robert S. Green, J.D. is the founding Chairman of Integrated Biomolecule Corporation, which is recognized as one of the first bioscience companies in Arizona, and he founded five other successful companies. In 2001, he was named an Entrepreneurial Fellow by the University of Arizona Eller College of Management, and in 2003, he received an Arizona Spirit of Success Award from Governor Janet Napolitano. Robert is an initial member of the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee and is the past president of the Arizona BioIndustry Association. Robert graduated City University of New York Magna Cum Laude and Fordham University School of Law.

Contact

Questions? Get in touch.

We would love to answer any questions about our ongoing research, as well as existing Alzheimer's and Mitochondrial Disease diagnostics. For scientific inquiries, please contact Dr. Jon Valla using the form below.

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