DiaGenic and GE Healthcare to develop blood-based test for early
30 April 2012
DiaGenic ASA has announced a research agreement to collaborate
with GE Healthcare to develop a blood-based test using DiaGenic’s
peripheral gene expression profiling in patients with mild cognitive
impairment, a disorder associated with risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.
The study would be used in conjunction with PET imaging to identify
a blood based gene expression signature in these patients. The PET
imaging agent, [18F] Flutemetamol, is currently in phase 3
development and is not yet approved by any regulatory authority.
This research effort will combine expertise in data integration,
informatics, genomics and imaging. Its goal will be to find a
signature that may identify subjects at risk of Alzheimer’s at a
very early disease stage. 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
neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and transform
patient management,” said Jonathan Allis, General Manager, MI PET
Segment, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics. “The collaboration we
are announcing today is part of this effort to understand and
identify Alzheimer’s disease in its very early stages. Finding a
signature that identifies people at risk of developing the disease,
may enable physicians to make more informed decisions about patient
Innovation Norway has through their Industrial Research and
Development Contracts Program granted 2 million NOK to the project.
The project will also be subject for tax deduction through
SkatteFUNN, Norway. The ambition of Innovation Norway’s program is
to increase the international success of the project, to enhance
competitiveness and market success and through collaboration give
access to new expertise, a global network, strategic partners and
“For this project we aim to recruit 180 individuals with amnestic
MCI, together with 30 patients with clinically diagnosed mild to
moderate AD,” said Dr Oskar Hansson of Lund University and Skåne
University Hospital and principal investigator of the study.
”Clinical assessment together with high quality blood and imaging
tests for the very early stages of AD will bring tremendous value to
the clinicians and drug developers.”
“I am delighted to enter into collaboration with GE Healthcare,
which shares our high ambition in advancing AD diagnosis and
treatment,” said DiaGenic’s CEO Dr. Erik Christensen. “Combining PET
and gene expression data will be very valuable for DiaGenic and a
biomarker linked to PET will open new market opportunities for
DiaGenic and GE Healthcare. Early diagnosis is essential in
Alzheimer’s treatment and DiaGenic’s technology has already proven
to generate unique gene expression signatures for prodromal AD”.