NIH's biomarker consortium releases study data on Alzheimer's

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The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium has released biomarker data from studies intended to improve the ability to diagnose and measure the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Researchers used proteomics to identify biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples provided by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). As with all ADNI data, these have been made openly available to the global research community. This Biomarkers Consortium study, “Use of Targeted Multiplex Proteomic Strategies to Identify CSF-Based Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease,” represents the second part of a two-phased effort using samples collected by ADNI to qualify biomarker panels in both plasma and CSF to diagnose and monitor disease progression in people with Alzheimer’s.

This study was conducted by a team of researchers from academia, pharmaceutical companies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the FDA under the auspices of the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium, a Bethesda, Md.-based public-private partnership that seeks to develop biomarkers to expedite the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases. Additional studies utilizing ADNI CSF samples are also underway as part of this project.

Launched in 2004, ADNI is a multi-million dollar study aimed at defining the subtle changes that may take place in the brains of older people many years before overt AD symptoms appear. It is led by the National Institute on Aging at NIH, through a grant to the nonprofit Northern California Institute for Research and Education, with private sector support from organizations provided through the FNIH. The study uses imaging and biomarkers to identify changes taking place in the brains of older people with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI, which often leads to Alzheimer’s) and Alzheimer’s dementia. A renewal of the ADNI effort (ADNI 2) was announced in October 2010 by the FNIH and the NIA, which will continue ADNI for an additional five years through late 2015.

In addition to the NIH and FDA, participating and funding organizations include Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, Merck, Pfizer and Takeda Global Research and Development Center.