Aethlon Medical (NSDQ:AEMD) subsidiary Exosome Sciences said today it is launching a study of a biomarker candidate intended to detect and monitor chronic traumatic encephalopathy in a sample of retired NFL players.
Screening is expected to begin in the coming weeks, Exosome Sciences said, and looks to enroll former NFL players at high risk of suffering from CTE alongside control subjects who aren’t at risk for such injuries.
The study currently has a number of former NFL athletes acting as ambassadors in Phoenix, South Florida, Southern California and New York. The company said that it also founded a “Player’s Council” to support enrollment of former NFL players.
“Members of the Players’ Council will provide input on how best to engage with former NFL players, as well as serve as local advocates for the study. In addition, these members have volunteered to share and distribute educational information through their social platforms. We believe this is the first step in tackling brain health issues for all athletes,” Players Council lead and former Cincinnati Bengal Solomon Wilcots said in a press release.
Exosome Sciences said that if the study reaches full enrollment, it will be the largest study of its kind to date involving former NFL players.
The company hopes the study will help validate the “TauSome” CTE biomarker candidate, which was previously studied as part of the first NIH-funded CTE research program managed through the Boston University CTE Center. The study will also explore the capability of detecting the TauSome marker in urine and plasma.
Exosome said it also plans to investigate the potential for TauSome levels to serve as a biomarker to monitor Alzheimers disease and other neurological taupathies.
“The objective of our Exosome Sciences subsidiary is to further reinforce the clinical observations that resulted from our first study in former NFL players and then translate these outcomes into functional products that help those at risk of suffering from CTE and potentially other neurological disorders that involve the abnormal aggregation of Tau protein in the brain,” Aethlon Medical CEO Jim Joyce said in a prepared statement.
Sample collection in the study is being conducted in collaboration with Translational Genomics Research Institute’s Center for Noninvasive Diagnostics co-director Dr. Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, the company said.
“Since our announcement of plans for the study earlier this year, we have received an overwhelming response from former NFL players and their family members. Researchers at TGen will use these samples to study extracellular RNAs, which may be useful for monitoring the central nervous system,” Dr. Van Keuren-Jensen said in prepared remarks.