Personalized regenerative medicine company Aspen Neuroscience has joined forces with Emerald Innovations and Rune Labs to integrate digital health monitoring technology into its Trial Ready Screening Cohort Study. The study, which began in 2022, seeks to identify potential patient candidates for a future clinical trial of Aspen’s personalized cell therapy (ANPD001) in Parkinson’s disease.
Aspen’s approach targets Parkinson’s disease by replenishing lost dopamine neurons, addressing both motor and non-motor symptoms of the disease. By combining cutting-edge biosensors, software analytics, and cellular therapies, the new collaboration aims to significantly improve the quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s disease.
Harnessing the capabilities of Emerald Innovations’ ‘invisible’ off-body sensors and Rune Labs’ precision neurology software, Aspen intends to bolster the collection of objective measures of motor function. The company says the partnership will enable long-term symptom capture, providing useful data on disease progression before treatment.
“Parkinson’s disease is very personal in nature, and we are working to develop a personal cell therapy for PD,” said Damien McDevitt, CEO of Aspen. “Everyone with Parkinson’s has a unique experience, with varied symptoms. We look forward to working closely with the innovative and collaborative teams at Rune Labs and Emerald Innovations to capture a holistic and precise pattern of motor symptom activity over time for people in our screening study.”
Objective measurement of Parkinson’s symptoms
The collaboration with Rune Labs will facilitate comprehensive symptom characterization within the Trial Ready Cohort. This will encompass the use of Rune’s FDA-cleared StrivePD on the Apple Watch, allowing for the objective measurement of tremor and dyskinesia levels. Additionally, medication monitoring and Apple HealthKit will be used to track global activity metrics such as daily steps.
“Parkinson’s is a heterogeneous condition, adding to the challenge of assessing treatment benefit without a personalized view of each trial participant’s symptom activity,” said Brian Pepin, CEO of Rune Labs. “Through StriveStudy, our biopharma partners are able to collect large quantities of continuous multimodal data to characterize participant’s disease activity across a range of clinical features.”
In tandem, Aspen and Emerald will explore the potential of passive, unobtrusive in-home monitoring for participants enrolled in the Trial Ready Cohort. This facet of the study will involve the assessment of various metrics, including gait speed during walking intervals, sleep onset, sleep stage transitions, sleep duration, sleep efficiency and time spent awake after sleep onset.
“A significant hurdle in Parkinson’s disease clinical trials is the reliable monitoring of disease progression and medication response without the need to enroll hundreds or even thousands of patients,” said Dina Katabi, president of Emerald Innovations. “Empirical evidence has demonstrated that readings from the Emerald sensor offer a dependable marker for tracking disease progression. The Emerald sensor gathers this data without body contact, relying solely on the analysis of radio signals in the environment as patients go about their normal lives.”