TORONTO, July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - Winterlight Labs Inc, a company that develops speech-based digital biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders, today announced it is developing vocal biomarkers for monitoring disease progression in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients in collaboration with Alector, a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for neurodegeneration.
Central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and depression are associated with changes in speech - both in the sound and content. Objectively measuring and analyzing speech changes using machine learning and computational linguistics is a novel approach to measuring disease severity and could be a more sensitive method for tracking disease progression. This approach could help physicians and pharmaceutical companies detect treatment efficacy more quickly and with a higher degree of precision compared to current pen-and-paper gold-standard assessments. FTD is a rare and heterogenous group of CNS disorders that result in progressive impairments in personality, behaviour and language.
Winterlight and Alector are deploying Winterlight's speech-based digital biomarker across two projects. The first is in an on-going year-long observational study in participants with FTD. In this study, participants are being assessed remotely by a caregiver using Winterlight's tablet-based assessment, eliminating the need to visit a clinic.
Preliminary data from the observational study indicates that participants with primary progressive aphasia, one of two variants of FTD, use simpler words and grammar and are less articulate than age-matched controls. The data from this study are intended to help develop FTD-specific digital biomarkers that may be used as an exploratory endpoint in Alector's upcoming Phase 2 clinical trial for AL001.
About Winterlight Labs
Winterlight Labs has developed software to detect and measure neurological and psychiatric indications through speech using machine learning. Winterlight analyzes over 500 vocal characteristics from the content and the sound of a person's voice and creates disease specific biomarkers. Winterlight currently works with Johnson & Johnson, Alector, Cortexyme and a number of other multinational life science companies. Winterlight is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. For additional information, please visit www.winterlightlabs.com.
SOURCE WinterLight Labs