FNIH Biomarkers Consortium Confirms Blood Tests Provide a Key Research Tool for Measuring Amyloid Accumulation in Alzheimer’s Disease

North Bethesda, MD, July 26, 2021—The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium (BC) has evaluated several blood tests that can detect one of the known characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The Plasma Aβ as a Predictor of Amyloid Positivity in AD project team has conducted the first-ever large-scale clinical comparative assessment of blood tests that measure levels of a protein called amyloid beta in blood.

The FNIH project utilized well-characterized participant samples from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). The data confirm that there are blood tests that can perform well in predicting a patients’ amyloid positivity (i.e., abnormally high levels of amyloid in the central nervous system), one of the widely recognized criteria for AD diagnosis. These biomarker tests show promise for future development as diagnostic tools.

The FNIH shares all data generated by its projects, and data from this project are publicly available now through ADNI. Broad data sharing means that the entire community of AD researchers can easily gain new insights and expand on the knowledge base through future data analysis and generation.

Selecting pre-symptomatic individuals for inclusion in clinical trials is hard yet critical to enable more therapeutic options. The FNIH expects these tests will serve as powerful, cost-effective, and readily available tools to enable identification of individuals for appropriate clinical trials. Reducing costs and simplifying participation in a clinical trial will catalyze opportunities to test effective treatments for AD, as well as informing the use of these blood tests in the clinic. The next phase of this project will focus on how well amyloid beta changes in the blood predict when someone will have changes that relate to the progression of the disease.

This project combines the resources and expertise of 10 partner organizations from across the public and private sectors, including government (the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute on Mental Health) and academia (Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and the University of Gothenburg), with scientific and financial support provided by industry (AbbVie Inc., Biogen MA Inc., Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited) and not-for-profit research, advocacy and care organizations (the  Alzheimer’s Association® and the Diagnostics Accelerator at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation).

Additional details on the results will be shared at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2021) taking place July 26–30, 2021.

Click here to read what the partners are saying about the project.

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