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Research Collaboration to Identify Diagnostic Biosignatures in Early Alzheimer’s Disease Detection


Pascale Witz, president and CEO, GE Healthcare, Medical Diagnostics

GE Healthcare announced today a research agreement to collaborate with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, L.L.C. (Janssen) to identify a biosignature related to Alzheimer’s disease.  This research effort will combine expertise in data integration, informatics, genomics and imaging.  Its goal will be to find a biosignature that may enable the detection of Alzheimer’s disease before the onset of clinical symptoms.  The collaboration is part of a broad portfolio of diagnostic solutions that GE Healthcare is developing in the Alzheimer’s field.    

“GE Healthcare has a global commitment to advancing clinical knowledge and providing innovations that may accelerate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and transform patient management,” said Pascale Witz, president and CEO, GE Healthcare, Medical Diagnostics.  “The collaboration we are announcing today is part of this effort to understand Alzheimer’s.  Finding a biosignature, essentially a collection of biomarkers, that identifies people at risk from the disease, would enable physicians to make more informed decisions about patient care.  Importantly, it might also accelerate the development of successful treatments for the disease.”

Phase 3 trials are underway for GE Healthcare’s amyloid PET imaging compound Flutemetamol.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, deaths attributed to the disease have increased by more than 46% between 2000 and 2006.  Today, in the US alone, 5.3 million people have Alzheimer’s disease, and the annual cost of the disease is $172 billion.  It is the 6thleading cause of death, and its mortality rates are expected to rise as the baby boomer population ages.  In last year’s World Alzheimer Report, Alzheimer’s Disease International estimated that there are 35.6 million people living with dementia worldwide in 2010, increasing to 65.7 million by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050.