Dementia Mission Competition Selects Four Companies For Innovative Alzheimer’s Biomarker Study

Collaboration with Innovate UK Yields New Partners for Alzheimer’s Study

Washington D.C., July 10, 2024- With groundbreaking creativity and breathtaking speed, this phase 3 competition, funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, is supporting organizations committed to improving dementia research using blood-based and digital biomarkers.  

This competition received 14 proposals within one week, from organizations using blood-based and/or digital biomarkers linked specifically to tau and inflammation markers seeking to be included as part of the Bio-Hermes-002 study, sponsored by the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP).

The four selected small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will gain access to the full, uniquely diverse Bio-Hermes-002 dataset.  These data are expected to follow in the footsteps of Bio-Hermes-001, which closed in 2023 with more than 80,000 test results and brought together the world’s leading digital and traditional cognitive assessment companies along with leading pharmaceutical partners to study cutting edge blood tests, brain scans and other tests for the diagnosis of dementia. The pool of data will be vitally important in answering important questions in relation to Alzheimer’s disease prediction, diagnosis, and possible treatments.

Once the study is completed, data will be made available to the research community through permissioned access on AD Workbench from the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (AD Data Initiative). The AD Workbench, which also hosts the Bio-Hermes-001 dataset, is a global, secure, cloud-based data sharing and analytics environment that enables researchers to share, access and analyze data across multiple platforms.

Niranjan Bose, Interim Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative said: “We celebrate the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission’s commitment to increase the number and speed of clinical trials in dementia and are excited to continue working with GAP to support the sharing of diverse dementia biomarker data with the larger research community.”

President of GAP, John Dwyer, said: “The unique Innovate UK competition is a model for advancing innovation and research with alacrity and rigor. Our transatlantic collaboration will facilitate four of the UK’s leading AD emerging technology companies to participate in Bio-Hermes-002, which will contribute to the UK’s research into diagnosing and treating this pernicious disease.  We designed Bio-Hermes-002 to accelerate research into cognitive and plasma biomarkers highly correlated with the amyloid and tau pathologies underpinning Alzheimer’s disease.  Thanks to our collaboration with Innovate UK, we are confident that the winners of this competition will make a major contribution to this endeavor and advance our collective ability to better diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s disease for patients around the world.”

Dr Stella Peace, Executive Director for Healthy Living and Agriculture Domain at Innovate UK, said:

“We are pleased to collaborate with GAP, providing an opportunity for UK-based SMEs to make a valuable contribution to this global study. This presents an excellent opportunity to combine expertise and resources, accelerating advancements in understanding, diagnosing, and ultimately treating dementia to make life better.”

Innovate UK Selected Companies

Project Lead: Cambridge Cognition Limited (Cambridge)

Title: Bio-Hermes-002: Cambridge Cognition Digital Biomarkers

Description: Cambridge Cognition is contributing to this project by providing tools to measure digital biomarkers through touch screen and voice assessments on an iPad. These tests look at memory, language, and other cognitive skills that are affected early on in Alzheimer’s. Cambridge Cognition has extensive experience working with clinical trials and has supported over 3,000 studies.

Project Lead: AINOSTICS LIMITED (London & Manchester)

Project Title: First in Class Artificial Intelligence (AI) Enabled Digital Biomarker for Dementia Risk Prediction and Characterisation

Description: AINOSTICS’ technology can automatically and intelligently analyse scans to provide sensitive and accurate micro-structural information about key tissue and organ structures, and then compare this with information from healthy populations to detect the signatures of the disease. We intend for AINOSTICS’ software to become a routine part of clinical practice and drug development as the results of our intelligent analysis will provide clinicians, researchers, and imaging centres with a convenient and cost-effective means to obtain reliable, quantitative, and objective diagnostic and prognostic data.


Project Title: Next generation Alzheimer’s disease screening using blood-based Optomics profiling

Description: iLoF’s groundbreaking Optomics technology utilises photonics and artificial intelligence to analyse blood-based biomarkers swiftly and non-invasively. This approach offers a stark contrast to the status quo by eliminating complex processing steps and reducing the need for invasive procedures. The test’s label-free nature and cost-effectiveness aim to dismantle existing diagnostic barriers, making early and accurate AD detection more accessible than ever before.

Project Lead: CUMULUS NEUROSCIENCE LIMITED (Belfast & Dublin)

Project Title: Accelerating Alzheimer’s Diagnosis (AccelADx) to Enable Precision Clinical Trial Patient Stratification and Clinical Care using Neurophysiological Biomarkers and AI

Description: Cumulus Neuroscience enables biopharma to collect longitudinal, objective real-world data in clinical studies both in the clinic and in the home. The platform includes a medically approved EEG headset, and tablet-based versions of validated assessments

For more information about the other organizations in collaboration, visit GAP, AD Data Initiative, Innovate UK


About the Bio-Hermes study:

In 18 months, GAP and its network of clinical research sites throughout the U.S. (GAP-Net) enrolled more than 1,000 volunteers in Bio-Hermes, the first-ever comparison study of blood-based biomarkers and digital Alzheimer’s test technologies. Bio-Hermes compared the performance of dozens of blood tests, digital cognitive tests, retinal exams, and speech analysis with traditional methods of measuring cognition and PET images. The Bio-Hermes data set is expected to inform future clinical practice and clinical trial designs just in time to assist with the surge expected due to the recently approved disease modifying therapies for treating Alzheimer’s disease.

About the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP):

The nonprofit Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation was founded to speed the delivery of Alzheimer’s treatments with a commitment to promoting diversity in clinical research, as well as lowering the cost and duration of clinical trials to ensure that no one is left behind. As part of its mission, GAP supports more than 100 clinical research sites worldwide through study start-up and recruitment activities, promoting diversity in research studies, and giving attention to the citizen scientists who make research possible.

About Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative

The Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative is a coalition of leading academic, advocacy, government, industry, and philanthropy organizations that recognizes the need for dementia researchers to find easier ways to share unpublished data, analytical tools, and scientific findings. These partners are working together to accelerate progress towards new diagnostics, treatments, and cures in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

To top