BEERSE, Belgium, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., (Janssen) today announced a research agreement to collaborate with GE Healthcare to develop non-invasive or minimally invasive diagnostic biosignatures to detect Alzheimer's disease prior to the onset of clinical symptoms. Pre-symptomatic biosignatures will allow earlier diagnosis of the disease and may enable significantly earlier intervention in Alzheimer's disease.
This collaboration will bring together Janssen's clinical, biomarker, and informatics - expertise with the imaging and diagnostic capabilities at GE to identify combinations of biomarkers - also known as biosignatures - that are specific to Alzheimer's disease. In complex diseases such as Alzheimer's, biosignatures are believed to provide greater diagnostic value than individual biomarkers.
"The underlying pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease, such as the formation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the tissues of the brain, can precede the onset of memory loss and other clinical symptoms by decades," said Husseini K. Manji, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development. "In establishing biosignatures of Alzheimer's disease, we will enable non-invasive identification of disease pathologies that help support earlier diagnosis and regular monitoring of disease progression. These in turn may allow earlier intervention in the disease process, when there may be more opportunity to delay or diminish clinical symptoms."
According to the Alzheimer's Association, deaths attributed to the disease have increased by more than 46% between 2000 and 2006. Today, in the US alone, 5.3 million people have Alzheimer's disease, and the annual cost of the disease is $172 billion. It is the 6th leading cause of death, and its mortality rates are expected to rise as the baby boomer population ages.[i] In last year's World Alzheimer's Report, Alzheimer's Disease International estimated that there are 35.6 million people living with dementia worldwide in 2010, increasing to 65.7 million by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050.[ii]
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[i] 2010 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer's Association website. http://www.alz.org/documents_custom/report_alzfactsfigures2010.pdf. Accessed November 9, 2010.
[ii] World Alzheimer's Report 2010. Alzheimer's Disease International website. www.alz.co.uk/research/files/WorldAlzheimerReport2010ExecutiveSummary.pdf. Accessed November 30, 2010.
SOURCE Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V.