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If successful, it would be the first diagnostic method to allow fast, cost-efficient and precise quantification of extracellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in human body fluids down to the nanomolar level. NAD is a member of the pyridine nucleotide family, which plays a crucial role in cell-oxidation protection, DNA repair, cell signaling and central metabolic pathways. The extracellular variant eNAD+ is present in virtually all body fluids and was shown to impact aging and the course of multiple systemic diseases. Compared with its intracellular counterpart iNAD+, however, it has been studied to a far lesser extent, and its quantification has long remained an unsolved problem, mainly due to its minimal concentration.

The assay developed and patented at Charité could provide a robust and reliable solution. It quantifies eNAD+ using a colourimetric two-step enzymatic cycling reaction based on alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). Potential applications include test kits as well as high-throughput screening in the context of drug discovery and development.

The scientists will use the EKFS grant primarily to validate the assay for eNAD+ according to U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. Secondarily, they will adapt it for iNAD+ and evaluate how the intake of NAD-precursors impacts eNAD+ and iNAD+ levels.

The technology is available for licensing and/or co-development. Charité BIH Innovation and Ascenion have worked closely with the scientists to secure IP protection.