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Alzheimer's Partners Fund Effort to Link Biomarkers with Amyloid Plaques for Early Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Initiative at the New York Academy of Sciences and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation and their corporate partners have awarded a $140,000 grant to fund researchers at Australia's Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health to validate a protein biomarker test for detecting Alzheimer's disease, NYAS said today.

The grant, which was supported by AstraZeneca, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, and Takeda, was awarded to lead investigator Blaine Roberts, head of the Florey' Institute's Metalloproteomics Laboratory.

Roberts and his team have identified three plasma proteins that could be useful as biomarkers for indicating Alzheimer's disease in the brain. Now, they plan to test the proteins for their correlation to amyloid plaques in the brain, a key feature of Alzheimer's disease. They seek to develop a cost-effective, non-invasive diagnostic test to screen for the disease 15 to 20 years before symptoms arrive, which would enable earlier treatment and help identify candidates for clinical trials.

"We calculate that the blood test we are developing will reduce the cost of patient recruitment for clinical trials by more than half, and help identify specific therapies to treat individuals with the pathology," Roberts said in a statement.

The project is being conducted in conjunction with the Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, in Australia, which will help Roberts and his team integrate their study and findings into medical and healthcare products.