Research & Development

Roche and Eli Lilly collaborate on Alzheimer’s disease blood test

Swiss biotech company Roche has announced a collaboration with US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly to develop Roche’s Elecsys Amyloid Plasma Panel (EAPP), which will be used to test for Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms arise.
EAPP measures phosphorylated Tau (pTau) 181 protein assay and apolipoprotein (APOE) E4 assay in human blood plasma; elevations in pTau 181 occur in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, while presence of APOE4 constitutes the most common genetic risk factor. In July 2022, EAPP was awarded FDA Breakthrough Device Designation.
Currently, Alzheimer’s detection relies on expensive and time-consuming PET brain scans and invasive spinal fluid analysis, together with cognitive testing. It is hoped this blood test will offer a faster and cheaper alternative, while still showing accurate results ‒ anegative result means the patient is unlikely to be amyloid positive and therefore should be investigated for other causes of cognitive decline. The test can also be used as a way to more effectively recruit patients for Alzheimer’s drug trials.
MattSause,CEOofRocheDiagnostics, stated: “We are excited to be collaborating with Lilly on such an important area of unmet medical need. Today, over 55 million people are living with dementia and this is projected to increase to nearly 140 million by 2050. Collaboration is essential to ensure these people receive a timely and accurate diagnosis. The Elecsys Amyloid Plasma Panel has the potential to streamline a person’s journey to diagnosis and, therefore, access to future treatment options.”