Scientists from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in collaboration with
the University of Eastern Finland have recently discovered a serum biochemical
signature which predicts progression to Alzheimer’s disease months or even
years before the first symptoms of the disease occur. The goal of the new
collaboration between VTT and GE Healthcare is to validate this biomarker in a
large patient cohort as well as to discover novel biomarker candidates.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a growing challenge to the health care systems and
economies of developed countries with millions of patients suffering from this
disease and increasing numbers of new cases diagnosed annually with the
increasing ageing of populations.
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.
In 2010 GE Healthcare entered into “biosignatures initiative” alliance with
Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. (Janssen) 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.
VTT’s research professor Matej Orešič said: “We are excited about the prospect
of collaborating with GE Healthcare to accelerate its research programs 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.”
About GE Healthcare. GE Healthcare provides transformational
medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care.
For more information about GE Healthcare, visit:www.gehealthcare.com.
About VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT is a
leading multitechnological applied research organization in Northern Europe.
It creates new technology and science-based innovations in co-operation with
domestic and foreign partners. VTT’s turnover is EUR 290 million and its
personnel totals 3,100.