A One-Man Startup for Better ALS Diagnosis

Correct and early diagnosis of ALS is essential in order to gain earlier access to clinical trials and the only FDA approved drug for ALS, riluzole. However, early diagnosis is difficult and involves ruling out many other diseases first. Robert Bowser at Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona and sole founder of Iron Horse Diagnostics (named for “The Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig), hopes to change that. Iron Horse Diagnostics has developed two diagnostic tests, a cerebrospinal fluid test and a blood test, based on ALS protein biomarkers that Bowser and colleagues identified, pNfH (phosphorylated axonal neurofilament subunit H) and complement c3. These tests could enable earlier diagnosis of ALS. The company has already evaluated these diagnostic tests on multiple human biosamples where they showed 93% accuracy. Iron Horse Diagnostics has recently secured a pharmaceutical partner to test the diagnostic accuracy of these two tests in a prospective study involving 300 people.

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