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WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 28, 2021) — Today, the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP) announced that Gates Ventures and the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) will join the list of biopharma, technology, and nonprofit partners who are contributing to GAP’s breakthrough Alzheimer’s study, Bio-Hermes.
Bio-Hermes is the first-ever platform study to compare the results of blood and digital biomarker tests — including digital, cognitive, retinal, and voice assessments — with the results of brain amyloid PET scans and traditional cognitive tests. GAP’s Bio-Hermes Study database will allow scientists to assess the performance of each biomarker, or combination of biomarkers, to predict the accumulation of amyloid in the brain, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. The use of biomarker tests in the assessment of Alzheimer’s could lead to earlier identification and detection of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, improving clinical practice and allowing those living with the disease an opportunity to enroll in future clinical trials that will get us closer to a cure.
Gates Ventures is providing funding and ADDI will be providing in-kind support for Bio-Hermes to help researchers gain access to the unique data and samples that will be derived from the study. Gates Ventures aims to address Alzheimer’s disease by supporting efforts to diagnose the disease earlier, catalyze a more diverse drug pipeline, accelerate clinical trial enrollment, and facilitate data sharing. This includes launching ADDI in 2020 to simplify how researchers and data scientists around the world work together and share data, code, and knowledge to accelerate progress towards an Alzheimer’s breakthrough.
“Our partnership with Gates Ventures and ADDI will ensure that the data and samples from this important study get in the hands of researchers who will be able to make important breakthroughs for this field,” said John Dwyer, President of GAP. “The broader goal of the Bio-Hermes Study is to help advance research to a point where faster and more cost-effective tests for Alzheimer’s are broadly available to the Alzheimer’s community, so the support we are receiving from Gates Ventures and ADDI is essential to our future success.”
Bio-Hermes is unique in that it is the first Alzheimer’s platform study to prioritize diversity in the study protocol. While Black people are 2-3 times more likely and Latinx people are 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s in their lifetime, these communities are often severely underrepresented in clinical research. To address this problem, the Bio-Hermes Study will hold enrollment open until at least 20% of the volunteers are Black and Hispanic.
“The Bio-Hermes commitment to diversity is critical, and sets the standard for future studies,” said Niranjan Bose, the Managing Director of Health & Life Sciences at Gates Ventures. “Alzheimer’s assessment tools and therapies must be sensitive, specific, and accessible to all people. This can only be achieved by ensuring that individuals from all backgrounds, particularly those that have traditionally been underserved, have the opportunity to enroll in cutting-edge AD medical research.”
ADDI will enable sharing of the anonymized results of the Bio-Hermes Study on their unique, global platform, the Alzheimer’s Disease Workbench (ADWB). In doing so, ADDI will make available important findings regarding which biomarker tests best foretell the hallmark of Alzheimer’s in various demographic groups as well as allowing Bio-Hermes Study’s vital findings to be combined with other important and relevant data on dementia-related illnesses around the globe.
“We are excited to work with GAP and the other Bio-Hermes partners on this innovative and first-of-its-kind study,” said Tetsuyuki Maruyama, the Executive Director of ADDI. “By enabling access to the resulting data of the Bio-Hermes Study globally, we will facilitate collaboration in the field to speed the delivery of innovative technology to those fighting against Alzheimer’s.”
The Bio-Hermes Study is the first clinical trial to unite a consortium of prominent leaders in the Alzheimer’s field. GAP’s other strategic partners include AbbVie, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Lilly, and Merck. Technology partners include Aural Analytics, C2N Diagnostics, Cognivue, IXICO, Linus Health, Quanterix, and RetiSpec.
For more information on the Bio-Hermes Study, visit https://globalalzplatform.org/biohermesstudy/
About the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP)
The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP) is a patient-centric nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the delivery of innovative therapies for neurological disorders by reducing the duration and cost of clinical trials. Research centers across the US and Canada are part of the growing GAP Network (GAP-Net). GAP supports GAP-Net research centers by assisting with study start up and recruitment activities, promoting diversity in research studies, and offering national programs that champion brain health and the citizen scientists who make research possible.