News and Articles

New study for early detection of Alzheimer’s shows promising results

GeekWire, April 8, 2024

A new test for the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease — potentially even before symptoms are present — show that the diagnostic caught the neurodegenerative disease in 100% of the samples from patients symptomatic for Alzheimer’s.

Researchers at the University of Washington and Seattle biotech startup AltPep are building on a track record of success with their latest publication.



AltPep Study Published in Nature Journal, Scientific Reports, Further Affirms Potential of Blood Test to Detect Alzheimer's Disease

Business Wire, April 5, 2024

“AltPep Corporation (“AltPep” or the “Company”), a privately held biotechnology company dedicated to early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for amyloid diseases, today announced that the peer-reviewed Nature journal Scientific Reports has published new results from the Company’s evaluation of its novel SOBA-AD blood test, aimed at detecting Alzheimer’s disease (AD).



2024 GeekWire Awards finalists revealed: Vote now for the best in Pacific Northwest tech

GeekWire, March 13, 2024

“The voting is now open for the 2024 GeekWire Awards, and this is your chance to have a hand in honoring the best in Pacific Northwest tech.

With more than 50 finalists across more than a dozen categories — from Startup of the Year to Next Tech Titan — we’re once again recognizing amazing entrepreneurs, innovators, deal makers and non-profit leaders.”

Click to find the article and vote for our own Valerie Daggett!



Research in Context: Diagnosing dementia

National Institutes of Health, January 30, 2024

“Diseases that degrade the mind strike at the very heart of our humanity. Unfortunately, such diseases aren’t rare. Strokes, infections, and chronic conditions like diabetes can all cause lasting damage to the brain. And more than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias—a number that is expected to rise over the coming decades.”



2023 NIH Research Highlights - Promising Medical Findings

National Institutes of Health, December 21, 2023

“With NIH support, scientists across the United States and around the world conduct wide-ranging research to discover ways to enhance health, lengthen life and reduce illness and disability. Groundbreaking NIH-funded research often receives top scientific honors. In 2023, these honors included two NIH-supported scientists who received Nobel Prizes. Here’s just a small sample of the NIH-supported research accomplishments in 2023. Also see this year’s Human Health Advances and Basic Research Insights.”



AltPep Further Strengthens Advisory Board with Appointment of Steven E. Kahn, M.B., Ch.B.

Business Wire, November 15, 2023

“AltPep Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company developing early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for amyloid diseases, today announced the appointment of Steven E. Kahn, M.B., Ch.B. to its Advisory Board. The Advisory Board consists of world-renowned experts in discovery, preclinical and clinical research in Alzheimer’s disease, other neurodegenerative disorders and now diabetes.”



Venture Capitalists Fund New Generation of Alzheimer's Drugs

WSJ Pro, July 13, 2023

“… Similarly, AltPep, a  Seattle-based biotech startup that recently raised $52.9 million venture financing is developing synthetic peptides designed to selectively bind to toxic oligomers. AltPep is developing a compound similar to its drug that would be used as a diagnostic to identify people with toxic oligomers.”



As Alzheimer's drugs hit the market, the race for early detection blood tests heats up

STAT+, July 25, 2023

“With the advent of disease-modifying Alzheimer’s drugs, everyone in the world of Alzheimer’s diagnostics is bracing for the crush. Based on their ability to slow cognitive decline, the Eisai/Biogen drug Leqembi won full approval from the FDA this month, and donanemab by Eli Lilly could be approved by year end. Clinicians now have to decide which patients are most suitable for treatment, which means better Alzheimer’s tests need to be developed.”



Alzheimer's and Parkinson's biotech AltPep raises $52.9M Series B

PSBJ, June 22, 2023

The Seattle-based company said the funding will go toward advancing its pipeline.

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AltPep, Backed by Section32 and Lilly, Gets $53M to Catch and Treat Early Alzheimer’s

Timmerman Report, June 22, 2023

“What if you could screen everyone at age 40, with a simple blood test, that could detect trace amounts of the toxic forms of amyloid-beta protein that build up over 10-20 years in people with Alzheimer’s? What if the blood test had 99 percent sensitivity and specificity to the toxic forms of the protein structure, ignoring normal forms? What if you could go a step further after a positive early diagnosis, and give a treatment that binds the same way, but is optimized to clear out those misfolded proteins before they start bunching up into plaques that damage neurons to the point of no return?”



Biotech startup developing tests and treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease raises $52.9M

GeekWire, June 22, 2023

“University of Washington spinout AltPep, which is developing tests and treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, completed a $52.9 million Series B funding round.

The funding will help propel the company’s experimental treatments into clinical trials and support its regulatory application for a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease at its earliest stages, according to a statement Thursday announcing the funding.”



AltPep Corporation Announces Close of $53 Million Series B Financing to Advance Its Novel Therapeutics for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases into the Clinic

Business Wire, June 22, 2023

“AltPep Corporation, a privately-held biotechnology company developing early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for amyloid diseases, today announced the completion of a $52.9 million Series B financing round. The financing was led by Senator Investment Group, LP, with participation from new financial investors, Section 32, Korea-based Partners Investment, and Eli Lilly and Company. Investors in AltPep’s Series A, including Alexandria Venture Investments and Matrix Capital Management Company, LP, also participated in the Series B.”



AltPep Wins 2023 GeekWire Award for Health Innovation of the Year!

GeekWire, May 18, 2023

AltPep has won the 2023 GeekWire Award for Health Innovation of the Year! Follow the link to the article and find the other award winners!



GeekWire Awards finalists revealed: Cast your vote and pick the top Pacific Northwest innovators

GeekWire, March 23, 2023

AltPep has been named among the finalists in the 2023 GeekWire Awards for Health Innovation of the Year! Follow the link to the article and find the ballot to vote for the AltPep team!

Public voting will run through May 1, and then we’ll announce the winners live on-stage at the GeekWire Awards on May 18.”



AltPep Strengthens Advisory Board with Three Leading Experts in Alzheimer’s Disease and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Business Wire, February 9, 2023

AltPep Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company developing early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for amyloid diseases, today announced the appointment of three new Advisory Board members: Paul Aisen, M.D., Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., and Charlie Glabe, Ph.D. The advisory board now consists of world-renowned experts in discovery, preclinical and clinical research in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

‘We are honored to have these esteemed and accomplished scientific and clinical leaders join AltPep’s Advisory Board,’ said Valerie Daggett, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of AltPep. ‘These individuals have each made foundational contributions to the field of neurodegenerative diseases. Their depth of expertise, together with the contributions of our current advisors, will be critical in advancing the development of our unique platform for early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other amyloid diseases.’



Blood test for early Alzheimer’s detection

National Institutes of Health, January 10, 2023

“One of the first stages of Alzheimer’s disease involves formation of toxic aggregates, called oligomers, of the protein amyloid beta (Aβ). These oligomers can start to form more than a decade before symptoms appear and before other known disease markers form. The ability to detect these oligomers would permit early disease diagnosis. This would make strategies to intervene before irreparable brain damage occurs possible.

An NIH-funded research team led by Valerie Daggett at the University of Washington developed a method to detect toxic Aβ oligomers in patients’ blood. They tested the assay, called the soluble oligomer binding assay (SOBA), on nearly 400 banked human blood plasma samples. Results appeared on December 13, 2022, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”



Soluble Oligomer Assay Rivals Other Biomarkers in Detecting Preclinical AD

Alzforum, December 22, 2022

“Before Aβ snaps into the rigid amyloid fibrils that predominate in plaques, the peptide clumps into soluble oligomers. Deemed the most toxic form of Aβ, these fledgling aggregates have also been devilishly difficult to detect. Now, researchers led by Valerie Daggett at the University of Washington in Seattle report that a soluble-oligomer binding assay—SOBA—picks them up in plasma, distinguishing controls and people with Alzheimer’s disease with 99 percent accuracy. The assay uses a designer peptide to capture oligomers that fold into α-sheets, a secondary structure that forms in the earliest stages of oligomerization. SOBA detected Aβ42 oligomers among controls who later developed mild cognitive impairment, suggesting it could identify people in the preclinical stage of AD. A modified version of the assay also detected α-synuclein oligomers in people with α-synucleinopathies. The study was published December 13 in PNAS.”



Research Article. SOBA: Development and testing of a soluble oligomer binding assay for detection of amyloidogenic toxic oligomers

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), December 9, 2022

Shea, D.; Colasurado, E.; Smith, A.; Daggett, V., 

PNAS 2022119(50)e2213157119;

“The formation of toxic Amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) oligomers is one of the earliest events in the molecular pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). These oligomers lead to a variety of downstream effects, including impaired neuronal signaling, neuroinflammation, tau phosphorylation, and neurodegeneration, and it is estimated that these events begin 10 to 20 y before the presentation of symptoms. Toxic Aβ oligomers contain a nonstandard protein structure, termed α-sheet, and designed α–sheet peptides target this main-chain structure in toxic oligomers independent of sequence.”



New Blood Test Can Identify Toxic Protein Years Before Alzheimer’s Symptoms Appear

Everyday Health, December 6, 2022

“Researchers have developed a new laboratory test that can measure levels of a “toxic” protein that is highly correlated with developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) years before any symptoms of cognitive impairment appear. Published on December 5 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesthe findings could be used to identify people at risk for AD, as well as help develop early treatments for the disease, according to researchers. 

What clinicians and researchers have wanted is a reliable diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease — and not just one that confirms a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, but a way to detect signs of the disease before cognitive impairment happens, says senior author Valerie Daggett, PhD, a professor of bioengineering in the University of Washington (UW) Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute in Seattle.”



Alzheimer's test could diagnose 'disease of exclusion' a lot earlier

Fierce Biotech, December 6, 2022

“Alzheimer’s disease is a “disease of exclusion”—that is, a condition that doctors settle on only when all others have been ruled out. But what if you could take a routine blood test at your annual physical that could show you’re on the way to developing it?

And then, if nefarious proteins in the blood are detected, what if you could be prescribed an inhalable drug that neutralizes them

This is what Valerie Daggett, PhD, envisions for the future of treating Alzheimer’s disease. With her company AltPep, Daggett has developed an assay to detect disease-triggering proteins called toxic oligomers, precursors to the amyloid plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s.”



Blood Test Could Detect Alzheimer’s Years Before Symptoms Occur

Bloomberg, December 5, 2022

“A simple blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms appear may be one step closer to reality, as researchers devise a new method to find it early.

The latest test focuses on amyloid beta proteins that have misfolded and are starting to clump together in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. At one time, they could only be found during an autopsy. Now they are often uncovered with advanced imaging…”



A New Study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Demonstrates the Ability of a Novel Peptide to Selectively Detect and Neutralize an Early Molecular Trigger of Alzheimer’s and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

Business Wire, December 5, 2022

“AltPep Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company developing early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for amyloid diseases, today announced that this week the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) will publish results of a groundbreaking study demonstrating a customized, synthetic peptide’s ability to selectively detect Alzheimer’s disease. The novel approach detailed in “SOBA: Development and Testing of a Soluble Oligomer Binding Assay for Detection of Amyloidogenic Toxic Oligomers” allows detection of Alzheimer’s disease at all stages…”



New blood test can detect ‘toxic’ protein years before Alzheimer’s symptoms emerge, study shows

UW News, December 5, 2022

“Today, by and large, patients receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s only after they exhibit well-known signs of the disease, such as memory loss. By that point, the best treatment options simply slow further progression of symptoms.

But research has shown that the seeds of Alzheimer’s are planted years — even decades — earlier, long before the cognitive impairments surface that make a diagnosis possible. Those seeds are amyloid beta proteins that misfold and clump together, forming small aggregates called oligomers. Over time, through a process scientists are still trying to understand, those “toxic” oligomers of amyloid beta are thought to develop into Alzheimer’s.”



Review Article. The role of α-sheet structure in amyloidogenesis: characterization and implications

Open Biology, November 23, 2022

Review Full Article and Download as a PDF. Tatum Prosswimmer and Valerie Daggett

Open Biol. 12: 220261.

Amyloid diseases are linked to protein misfolding whereby the amyloidogenic protein undergoes a conformational change, aggregates and eventually forms amyloid fibrils. While the amyloid fibrils and plaques are hallmarks of these diseases, they typically form late in the disease process and do not correlate with disease. Instead, there is growing evidence that smaller, soluble toxic oligomers form prior and appear to be early triggers of the molecular pathology underlying these diseases. Nearly 20 years ago, we proposed the α-sheet hypothesis after discovering that the early conformational changes observed…”



Promising data from large Alzheimer’s study bodes well for this Seattle startup

Geek Wire, September 30, 2022

“Alzheimer’s disease researchers were buoyed by positive data released Tuesday from a large clinical trial of an experimental therapy being developed by Biogen and Eisai.

The early data suggest that the treatment, called lecanemab, eases cognitive decline. The findings also rejuvenated hope in a therapeutic approach targeting peptides that form nasty clumps in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s.



Seattle startup aiming to detect, treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease raises cash

Geek Wire, August 22, 2022

The news: University of Washington spinout AltPep recently raised $44.4 million, according to a regulatory filing. The company declined to discuss the filing, but founder and CEO Valerie Daggett spoke with GeekWire about AltPep’s progress on its experimental blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stages.

“We’re going after that first molecular trigger for the pathology,” said Daggett, who is also a UW professor of bioengineering. The 3-year old startup is also developing a diagnostic for Parkinson’s disease and treatments for both conditions…”



Review Article. Amyloid-β Oligomers: Multiple Moving Targets

Biophysica, April 28, 2022

Review Full Article and Download as a PDF. Dylan Shea and Valerie Daggett.

Biophysica 20222(2), 91-110;

“Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized clinically by progressive cognitive decline and pathologically by the β-sheet rich fibril plaque deposition of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide in the brain. While plaques are a hallmark of AD, plaque burden is not correlated with cognitive impairment. Instead, Aβ oligomers formed during the aggregation process represent the main agents of neurotoxicity, which occurs 10–20 years before patients begin to show symptoms…”



AltPep Receives FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for SOBA-AD, A Simple Blood Test for the Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Business Wire, March 1, 2022

AltPep Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company developing early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for amyloid diseases, today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the company Breakthrough Device designation for its SOBA-AD diagnostic in development for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The inclusion in the FDA Breakthrough Devices Program means that AltPep can expect prioritized review of the submission of their device. The long-term potential for the SOBA-AD assay lies in its ability to detect disease early, even before symptoms arise. Early detection may lead to more effective treatments that limit cognitive decline in AD patients.



AltPep Appoints Nancy Hill to Newly Created Position of Chief Product Officer

Business Wire, February 28, 2022

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AltPep Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company developing early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for amyloid diseases, today announced that accomplished executive Nancy Hill has assumed the newly created role of Chief Product Officer. In this role, Nancy is responsible for product development and commercialization of AltPep’s pipeline.

Seattle-based biotech AltPep wants to change that. The company, which spun out of bioengineering professor Valerie Daggett’s research lab in March 2019, has developed a platform that allows for both early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s. In January it raised $23 million in Series A investment funding to advance its work.



Alzheimer’s research gets a boost

UW College of Engineering, April 15, 2021

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease — a number projected to rise to 14 million by 2050. While there are treatments that can provide symptomatic relief, currently there is no cure. Diagnosis isn’t great either: Alzheimer’s can incubate undetected for 10-20 years before an individual begins showing symptoms.

Seattle-based biotech AltPep wants to change that. The company, which spun out of bioengineering professor Valerie Daggett’s research lab in March 2019, has developed a platform that allows for both early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s. In January it raised $23 million in Series A investment funding to advance its work.



Seattle Startup Chases Alzheimer’s with $23 Million Series A

BioSpace, January 15, 2021

Alzheimer’s is the white whale of the pharmaceutical world. This week a new Captain Ahab came on the scene with some new tools for hunting down an old target.

Seattle-based AltPep Corporation raised $23.15 million in a Series A financing round to take their breakthrough amyloid targeting platform to development. Based on technology developed at a University of Washington (UW) lab, the biotech has three targets: early diagnostic for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), anti-biofilm therapies and coatings and disease-modifying therapeutics for AD.



AltPep announces closing $23.150 million Series A investment round

NewsWires, January 15, 2021

AltPep announces closing $23.150 million Series A investment round, let by Matrix Capital Management with significant participation by Alexandria Venture Investments. In conjunction with the financing, David Goel, Managing General Partner and Co-founder of Matrix Capital Management and Joel Marcus, Executive Chairman and Founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities/Alexandria Venture Investments, have joined AltPep’s Board of Directors.



Seattle biotech startup AltPep raises $23.1M to tackle Alzheimer’s and related diseases

Geek Wire, January 14, 2021

AltPep, a Seattle-based biotech startup tackling amyloid protein disorders, has raised $23.1 million in a Series A funding round.

The venture spun out the University of Washington in March 2019. Its founder and CEO is Valerie Daggett, a longtime professor in the Department of Bioengineering in the College of Engineering.



AltPep announces that Chad Robins joined AltPep Board of Directors

September 20, 2020

Chad is the co-founder and CEO of Adaptive Biotechnologies, a commercial-stage biotech company in Seattle that aims to translate the genetics of the adaptive immune system into clinical products to diagnose and treat disease.



Seattle-based life sciences consulting and incubator company, Intutive-X joins AltPep launch

April 17, 2019

AltPep discovered α-sheet, a new, nonstandard protein structure, associated with toxicity in computer simulations of amyloid proteins and then designed de novo nontoxic α-sheet peptides to be complementary to the α-sheet structure in toxic species. Outcome: Proprietary platform targeting toxic species for both early diagnostics and disease-modifying therapeutics.
AltPep’s patented technology provides a groundbreaking platform for targeting amyloid diseases and improving human health.



To fight Alzheimer’s disease, Univ. of Washington researchers target plaque-causing proteins

Geek Wire, April 16, 2019

Researchers at the University of Washington have created a molecule that aims to stop the formation of protein clusters thought to be a prime contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.

In a healthy brain, these amyloid beta proteins don’t cause problems. But in patients with Alzheimer’s, they stick together and become toxic. The team of researchers set out to create a compound that would block the protein clusters, called amyloid beta oligomers, from forming.



Alzheimer’s: Synthetic protein blocks toxic beta-amyloid

Medical News Today, April 16, 2019

Alzheimer’s is a relentless disease in which toxic clusters of beta-amyloid protein collect in brain cells. Now, scientists have designed a synthetic peptide, or small protein, that can block beta-amyloid in its early and most harmful stages.




Alzheimer’s Disease Toxicity Halted by Synthetic Peptides

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, April 15, 2019

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by the formation of large, insoluble deposits, or plaques, of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) in the brain. These plaques are generated by the aggregation of smaller, soluble clumps made up of perhaps a dozen or so Aβ monomers. Recent research indicates that it is these smaller Aβ aggregates, or oligomers, and not the larger deposits, which represent the toxic elements of AD.



Investment in Research Saves Lives and Money Series—Alzheimer’s Fact SheetGoes Here

Research America, April 15, 2019

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic, debilitating form of dementia, marked by memory loss, cognitive decline, behavioral disturbances, and difficulty communicating. While primarily affecting individuals age 65 and older, approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 are living with early-onset Alzheimer’s.