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The Biomarkers Consortium Announces Availability of Alzheimer's Disease Plasma Proteomics Data

BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health's Biomarkers Consortium announced today that the results of a proteomics study performed utilizing plasma samples from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) are ready to be shared with scientists worldwide for further analysis.  

This study represents the work of the Biomarkers Consortium Project Use of Targeted Multiplex Proteomic Strategies to Identify Plasma-Based Biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease.  This project is intended to be the first part of a multi-phased effort seeking to utilize samples collected by ADNI to qualify multiplex panels in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to diagnose patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and monitor disease progression.

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

"We are pleased to announce the release of this data, which represents a critical step towards the completion of this project," remarked Scott E. Campbell, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of the Foundation for NIH. "This project provides further evidence that academia, industry, and government can work closely together on projects that require the input and involvement of these diverse sectors."

This Biomarkers Consortium project utilized plasma samples gathered by ADNI, a $60 million project launched in 2004 which concludes by the end of 2010, which is a public-private partnership supported primarily by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with pharmaceutical, imaging and clinical trial management companies; not-for-profit organizations; and donations from individuals providing support through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).

One of the largest scale neuroimaging projects ever undertaken, ADNI involves longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging and blood, urine and spinal fluid biomarker studies of more than 800 individuals, half of whom have mild cognitive impairment, a condition placing them at high risk for developing AD or another dementia. A renewal of the ADNI effort was announced in October 2010 by the Foundation for NIH [link to] and National Institute on Aging [link to], which will continue ADNI for an additional five years through late 2015.  

A Biomarkers Consortium-convened Project Team comprised of representatives from academia, industry and government developed and executed this project and also developed a statistical analysis plan, which is now being executed with the public release of this data. Holly Soares, Ph.D., director of clinical neuroscience biomarkers at Bristol-Myers Squibb, who led the Biomarkers Consortium Project Team said, "It was gratifying to work collaboratively with industry, academic and government colleagues to generate a body of data that will tell us more about the biochemical makeup of Alzheimer's disease.  Hopefully, the data may someday lead to a blood-based screening test for early diagnosis and preventative treatment of this devastating disease".    

John Q. Trojanowski, MD, Ph.D., who, with Dr. Leslie M. Shaw co-directs the ADNI Biomarker Core at the University of Pennsylvania, said "This is another example of the efforts of ADNI and all ADNI stakeholders to make potentially valuable chemical biomarker data sets as broadly available to all scientists interested in Alzheimer biomarkers to accelerate the pace of biomarker discovery and validation for Alzheimer patients since this will have an important impact on the discovery and testing of disease modifying therapies for Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Trojanowski is the Director of the Penn Institute on Aging and the NIA funded Alzheimer's Disease Core Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

William Z. Potter, M.D., Ph.D., recently retired Vice President of Translational Neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories, noted that "This sharing of targeted plasma proteomic data will open up an unparalleled level of dialogue and transparency around findings in Alzheimer's. Such immediate dissemination of detailed data should accelerate by several years the meaningful application of proteomics to developing the novel drugs that are desperately needed for this progressive disease."

Financial support of this Biomarkers Consortium project was provided through funds allocated from the ADNI partnership raised by the Foundation for NIH, as well as additional direct support from Pfizer Inc. Private sector supporters of ADNI (through contributions to the Foundation for NIH) include Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca AB, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai Global Clinical Development, Elan Corporation, Genentech, General Electric Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, Innogenetics, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Co., Inc., Medpace, Merck and Co., Inc., Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Schering-Plough, Synarc Inc., and Wyeth Research, as well as non-profit partners the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.

About the Foundation for 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 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 NIH, please visit

About the Biomarkers Consortium

The Biomarkers Consortium is a public-private biomedical research partnership managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) that endeavors to develop, validate, and/or qualify 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

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