DiaGenic developing blood test for Alzheimer’s disease
11 June 2007
Washington, USA. Norwegian biotech company DiaGenic ASA is
developing a blood-based diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease.
Using peripheral blood as an easy-to-collect sample, the test detects a
unique gene expression profile or 'gene signature' that identifies
Alzheimer’s disease. DiaGenic expects the test will be available to
researchers in early 2008.
The results of initial trials of the test were
presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on
Prevention of Dementia in Washington June 9-12, 2007.
"The development of a blood-based diagnostic test has been one of the
major goals of Alzheimer disease research. The new blood signature test of
DiaGenic is an important forward step in the right direction. The test is
also very timely, as several pharmaceutical companies are in the process of
developing the next generation of therapeutic drugs which can inhibit the
underlying pathology of Alzheimer disease.
"The test will require validation in a large number of Alzheimer and
control patients, and at multiple centres, to become useful,” said leading
Alzheimer’s researchers, Professors Khalid Iqbal and Bengt Winblad.
Researchers combed through many Alzheimer’s patient samples and several
thousand genes to identify a common gene signature for the disease. The most
informative genes isolated in these discovery phase studies were then used
to design and develop customized test arrays.
DiaGenic says it aims to make the test available as a research tool in
early 2008, which should accelerate the process of clinical validation and
commercial introduction. Recently the FDA approved the first diagnostic test
based on this type of technology for breast cancer, which paves the way for
its use in other diseases.