New biomarker for Alzheimer onset
27.06.2012 - GE Healthcare and the VTT Technical Research Centre have joint forces on validating a biomarker signature in a large patient cohort.
Espoo/Chalfont St Giles/Beerse – Last December, researchers from the VTT discovered a serum biochemical signature which predicts progression to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) months or even years before the first symptoms of the disease occur (Transl. Psychiatry 1, e57). Early detection of prodromal AD is vital both for assessing the efficacy of potential AD therapeutic agents as well as new disease modifying therapies are most likely to be effective when initiated during the early stages of disease. The elucidation of early metabolic pathways associated with progression to Alzheimer’s disease may also help in identifying new therapeutic avenues. The first research projects have already begun, said VTT’s research professor Matej Orešič to EuroBiotechNews.eu. "We use a key biomarker metabolite (2,4-dihydroxybutanoic acid) that is a known cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) metabolite. We have preliminary data linking this metabolite measured in CSF to AD", says Orešič.
In 2010 GE Healthcare entered into a “biosignatures initiative” alliance with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. to develop diagnostic biosignatures for pre-symptomatic identification of AD. As part of this programme, VTT will apply serum metabolite profiling to validate their recently discovered biochemical signature, as well as to discover novel biomarker candidates predictive of progression to AD.
Orešič said: “We are excited about the prospect of collaborating with GE Healthcare to accelerate its research programmes and to further develop our biomarker towards a clinical assay applicable in healthcare setting. VTT has, over the past years, built unique metabolomics and systems biology platforms and acquired vast amount of knowledge on metabolic profiles and pathways in human health and disease, which allow us to identify disease-specific biochemical signatures and pathways. We believe that integration of metabolomics into the GE’s and Janssen’s biosignatures initiative will lead to better tools for early detection of AD and may also lead to better therapeutic options.”