NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Diagnostics company TheraGenetics will conduct a pharmacogenetic study along with King’s College London of Alzheimer’s patients who have been treated with cholinesterase inhibitors in the larger AddNeuroMed study.
TheraGenetics has been searching for genetic markers related to central nervous system disorders that could be used to develop diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
AddNeuroMed is funded by the European Union through a partnership with pharmaceutical industry trade group the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, and it is aimed at establishing tools, models, and cohorts for Alzheimer’s disease biomarker discovery. It includes academic and clinical groups and pharmaceutical companies, and it is focused on generating novel pre-clinical models and a large clinical cohort for biomarker studies.
Cholinesterase inhibitors are a class of drugs that have been approved to treat cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s. They prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which appear to slow mental decline in Alzheimer’s, but many people do not see improvement from the drugs, and many experience side effects that cause them to stop taking them.
The company said the global market for Alzheimer’s drugs is growing from $4 billion in 2006 to an estimated $5 billion in 2010.
Privately-held TheraGenetics is a spinout of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London.