The FNIH Biomarkers Consortium Announces Availability of Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarker Data


January 9, 2012
The Biomarkers Consortium

Bethesda, MD (January 9, 2012) — The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium today announced the release of biomarker data from studies intended to improve our ability to diagnose and measure the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Researchers used proteomics to identify biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples provided by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the largest public-private partnership to date in AD research. As with all ADNI data, these have been made openly available to the global research community.  

This Biomarkers Consortium study, “Use of Targeted Multiplex Proteomic Strategies to Identify CSF-Based Biomarkers in Alzheimer’s Disease,” represents the second part of a two-phased effort using samples collected by ADNI to qualify biomarker panels in both plasma and CSF to diagnose and monitor disease progression in people with Alzheimer’s. This study was conducted by a team of researchers from academia, pharmaceutical companies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the auspices of the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium, a public-private partnership that seeks to develop biomarkers to expedite the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases.  Additional studies utilizing ADNI CSF samples are also underway as part of this project.

"This set of data realizes a 15 year old vision of having a public domain database allowing interrogation of the relationship between a range of physiologically important proteins in blood and cerebrospinal fluid and genetic variation,” said Dr. William Potter, former Vice President of Translational Neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories, current advisor to the FNIH Biomarkers Consortium. “As such, it will serve not only to advance methods of AD drug development, but for any central nervous system condition of interest."

Launched in 2004, ADNI is a groundbreaking, multi-million dollar study aimed at defining the subtle changes that may take place in the brains of older people many years before overt symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear. It is led by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH, through a grant to the non-profit Northern California Institute for Research and Education (NCIRE), with private sector support from corporations and organizations provided through the FNIH. The study uses imaging and biomarkers to identify changes taking place in the brains of older people with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI, which often leads to Alzheimer’s), and Alzheimer’s dementia. A renewal of the ADNI effort (ADNI 2) was announced in October 2010 by the FNIH and the NIA, which will continue ADNI for an additional five years through late 2015.

“The results of the Biomarker Consortium data project should help move us closer to achieving our shared goal of identifying who is at risk for Alzheimer’s before symptoms appear and to developing the tools that will enable us to track progression of the disease,” said Dr. Neil Buckholtz, of NIA’s Division of Neuroscience and a leader in the founding of ADNI. “Making these results available to the wider research community is important to our ultimate aim of speeding up research aimed at finding therapies to prevent, delay or treat this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.”

In addition to the NIH and FDA, participating and funding organizations include Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Eisai, Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, Merck and Company, Pfizer Inc., Takeda Global Research and Development Center, Inc.

This data are available to the scientific community for download and further analysis via the ADNI website; more specific information about this data is available here.

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About the Foundation for the NIH
Established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the NIH—improving health through scientific discovery in the search for cures—the Foundation for the NIH is a leader in identifying and addressing complex scientific and health issues. The Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. For additional information about the Foundation for the NIH, please visit www.fnih.org.

About the Biomarkers Consortium
The Biomarkers Consortium is a public-private biomedical research partnership managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health that endeavors to discover, develop, and seek regulatory approval for biological markers (biomarkers) to speed the development of medicines and therapies for detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease and improve patient care. For additional information about the Biomarkers Consortium, please visit www.biomarkersconsortium.org.

About NIA/ADNI
The National Institute on Aging leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. For more information on aging-related research and the NIA, go to www.nia.nih.gov.  To volunteer or learn more about ADNI, contact the NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 1-800-438-4380 or www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers.