Diagnostic imaging, therapeutics  

Roche and GE Healthcare collaborate to develop personalised medicine for Alzheimer's patients

11 July 2005

BASEL, Switzerland & CHALFONT ST. GILES, England. Roche and GE Healthcare, have announced a collaboration aimed at developing personalised care for patients with Alzheimer's disease. In controlled clinical trials, patients taking a Roche anti-amyloid drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease will be monitored clinically for drug response using GE's positron emission tomography (PET) diagnostic imaging agent. This proprietary PET technology measures and tracks levels of beta-amyloid, a form of brain plaque believed to cause memory loss in Alzheimer's disease patients. Previously, the presence of plaque could only be confirmed during autopsy.

Both Roche and GE will independently analyze patient data to monitor the progression of the disease and then share information to validate the efficacy of both the therapeutic product and the diagnostic tool. The data gathered will aid both companies in submitting necessary and comprehensive data to regulatory authorities for approvals.

"This collaboration is an early step in experimental medicine," said Peter Hug, Roche's Global Head of Pharma Partnering. "Using GE's innovative technology allows Roche to test the efficacy of our product more accurately than was previously possible, which in the long term, will help us efficiently advance through clinical development, potentially helping patients sooner."

"This imaginative and ground-breaking agreement demonstrates how medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly collaborating with the aim of developing innovative, more effective and safer treatments. The collaboration between Roche and GE should allow clinicians to identify effective treatments earlier for this debilitating disease. Increasing clinical value at the intersection of diagnostics and therapeutics is one way that GE is carrying out its mission to transform healthcare from "Late Disease" to "Early Health," said Bill Clarke, Chief Technology and Medical Officer, GE Healthcare.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

About Alzheimer's disease

According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that there are approximately 18 million people worldwide suffering with Alzheimer's disease, a figure projected to nearly double by 2025 to 34 million.

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