Scottish Brain Sciences Alzheimer’s Partnership with Roche Diagnostics opens door to transformative blood tests

Professor Craig Ritchie (CEO and Founder of Scottish Brain Sciences)

AN AGREEMENT between a pioneering Scottish brain sciences research company and a global leader in precision diagnostics is aiming to transform the ability of clinicians to identify the very earliest signs of Alzheimer’s Disease – long before symptoms can be seen.

Scottish Brain Sciences is delighted to announce a series of major projects in collaboration with Roche Diagnostics that aim to better understand the earliest biological changes of neurodegenerative disease using blood-based biomarkers.

Evidence over recent years has pointed to pathological changes in the brain preceding the emergence of cognitive symptoms by many years, even decades. Characterisation and detection of these changes will lead to accurate diagnostic and prognostic tests being developed which have a dramatic effect on the assessment and management of Alzheimer’s disease.

CEO and Founder of Scottish Brain Sciences Professor Craig Ritchie is principal investigator for the studies involving blood biomarkers. He says early identification of diseases like Alzheimer’s will be key to effective treatments:

“Early detection of brain changes associated with the earliest stages of neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease through blood testing will be transformative in the way we assess, manage, and conceptualise clinically Alzheimer’s disease. It will open the door to interventions used very early in the course of disease that are better targeted than current treatments. There will be an expectation of big impacts on disease course and even prevention of the late-stage dementia syndromes associated with neurodegenerative disease.

“Collaborating with Roche Diagnostics on a broad range of very large projects here in Scotland is a huge vote of confidence in the Scottish Life Sciences sector and the country’s leadership over the years in the Brain Health space. I am delighted that they have chosen to work here and specifically with Scottish Brain Sciences in their development programmes”.

Dr Ashton Harper, Director of Medical Affairs, Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland said:

“Alzheimer’s Disease is the major cause of dementia, which is currently the leading cause of death in the UK. Early and accurate diagnosis of this condition has numerous advantages such as appropriate and timely management of symptoms, access to clinical trials and enabling future planning. Earlier diagnosis may also delay the need for residential care and reduce costs for health and social care. 

“We are proud that through partnerships, like this one with Scottish Brain Sciences, Roche is driving the innovation which will help to deliver a future where early and accurate diagnosis is available to benefit all individuals and families affected by this terrible disease.”

Dr Alison Green, leader of the Scottish Brain Sciences Laboratory Biomarker Division said:

“The development of early diagnostic tests for AD is important for patient management and for the on-going research into much needed treatments.  

“I am delighted to be collaborating with Roche Diagnostics in this crucial area of research.  Roche Diagnostics are world-leaders in clinical diagnostics and this will ensure that any blood test developed will be readily available to the AD community.”

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