MONTREAL, Oct. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Innodem Neurosciences announced today that it has signed a multi-year partnership agreement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (Novartis) to conduct a breakthrough clinical trial to help people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Innodem’s AI-powered, patented, eye tracking software technology is embodied in a mobile application that turns a tablet into a device capable of capturing and analyzing Eye Movement Biomarkers (EMBs) and Gaze Mapping Biomarkers (GMBs) to assist a clinician’s diagnosis and monitor MS disease progression.
Digital EMB and GMB tests are non-invasive and can be completed in minutes in the clinic’s waiting room or by the patient at home. Remote self-testing is a major advantage during a pandemic and for people living with MS residing in rural areas who cannot easily access a neurologist.
“The financing from Novartis will fund a carefully designed cross-sectional and longitudinal MS study that will last until 2027. As a practicing neurologist, I’m hopeful that the study will validate just how Innodem’s technology can assist clinicians in monitoring disease progression as early as possible to improve MS treatment and patient outcomes,” said Dr. Étienne de Villers-Sidani, cognitive neurologist, main founder and Chief Executive Officer of Innodem.
“This partnership is the result of an ongoing collaboration that was architected over the past two years. It embodies our common goal and commitment to improving quality of care for people living with MS globally,” added Marc Reeves, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Innodem.
“At Novartis, we are committed to innovation and becoming the leaders in the health tech space. After reviewing existing solutions, we selected Innodem’s proprietary eye tracking technology and believe it to be the most promising and one that can easily scale due to its ease-of-use. We anticipate that the trial will confirm its relevancy so that more people living with MS and treating clinicians can have access to it in Canada and across the world,” commented Andrea Marazzi, Country Pharma Organization Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Over the course of the trial, people living with MS will test twice a month and the data will be correlated with the current gold standard Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS (BICAMS) and Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) scores to assist clinicians in detecting subtle changes indicative of disease progression and that may not show up using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Innodem management believes that the multi-year trial will demonstrate that novel digital EMBs and GMBs can measure these changes accurately, easily and cost-effectively. “A clinician whose patient shows objective signs of progressive MS may recommend a better adapted treatment which could, if detected early, prevent this individual from developing further disability. No practical companion diagnostic test currently exists to detect progressive MS, and I believe EMBs and GMBs can fill that important gap,” added Dr. de Villers-Sidani.