Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

A blood test for Alzheimer’s disease

Blood-based biomarkers for the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, affecting 40 million people worldwide. A precise and early diagnosis of AD is relevant and needed to enable the development of more efficient treatments. Once such treatments become available, this diagnosis will enable us to prescribe the right drug to the right patient, as early as possible. Amsterdam UMC and ADx Neurosciences developed a test that can differentiate between people with Alzheimer’s Disease and healthy people by measuring Alzheimer specific proteins in blood. 

These Alzheimer specific proteins are currently measured with expensive brain imaging technology or in brain fluid, obtained with the procedure of a lumbar puncture. A lumbar puncture to collect brain fluid is perceived as invasive and comes with a risk of 1% for severe headache problems. A blood test would allow for clinical diagnosis and screening of patients with a low invasive method, perhaps already at the family doctor’s office. 

During this project a blood test was developed, using a new ultra-sensitive technology to measure specific Alzheimer proteins in blood. This test could differentiate patients with Alzheimer’s disease and healthy people. 

And in this initial study, the test performed better than commercially available tests. Because of these very promising results this test will continue being developed together with the commercial partner ADx. The joint goal is to further develop this test so that it can be used in clinical practice, making early diagnosis possible and supporting the development of treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.