DiaGenic has reached an agreement 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 (AD).

The research effort will combine expertise in data integration, informatics, genomics and imaging, to find a signature that may identify subjects at risk of Alzheimer’s at an early disease stage.

Lund University and Skåne University Hospital professor and principal investigator of the study Oskar Hansson said for the project, they aim to recruit 180 individuals with amnestic MCI, together with 30 patients with clinically diagnosed mild to moderate AD. The study will be used in conjunction with PET imaging to identify a blood based gene expression signature in Alzheimer’s patients.

GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics MI PET segment general manager Jonathan Allis said the company has a global commitment to advancing clinical knowledge and providing innovations which may accelerate diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and transform patient management.

"The collaboration we are announcing today is part of this effort to understand and identify Alzheimer’s disease in its very early stages," Allis added.

"Finding a signature that identifies people at risk of developing the disease, may enable physicians to make more informed decisions about patient care."

Innovation Norway has granted NOK2m ($351,925) through its Industrial Research and Development Contracts Programme, which is intended to enhance competitiveness and market success, and through collaboration give access to new expertise, a global network, strategic partners and international markets.

"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," Hansson added.

DiaGenic is a Norwegian biotechnology company which aims to develop new and patient friendly methods for early detection of diseases.