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Improving Alzheimer’s Disease Research with Digital Health Technology

News

2 December 2016

Improving Alzheimer’s Disease Research with Digital Health Technology

As the drug development industry looks to identify Alzheimer’s disease years before the onset of symptoms, Cambridge Cognition digital health technologies are well placed to optimise chances of success throughout the drug development lifecycle, from proof of concept to post marketing and patient engagement.

The pursuit of disease modifying drugs for Alzheimer’s remains one of the pharmaceutical industry's greatest challenges. However, with an estimated 47 million people worldwide living with dementia and annual sales of a successful drug treatment expected to break all records and exceed $14 billion, setbacks must not stop crucial research and development. There is, however, much we can learn from them.

Most high profile drug failures in Alzheimer's disease targeted patients who already had dementia. There is broad scientific consensus that this is too late in the disease – these compounds are more likely to be effective if used earlier, in prodromal or even presymptomatic populations.

As the drug development industry looks to identify Alzheimer’s disease years before the onset of symptoms, Cambridge Cognition digital health technologies are well placed to optimise chances of success throughout the drug development lifecycle, from proof of concept to post marketing and patient engagement.

Appropriate study design and enrichment of recruitment screen failure rates are proving increasingly important as the field focuses on disease-modifying agents and patients that are early in the disease spectrum. Online cognitive screening with CANTAB Recruit will now facilitate more effective recruitment of patients who are most likely to benefit from treatments, minimise screen failure rates and enhance the validity of clinical research.

More sensitive cognitive tests will also be needed to replace the pencil and paper tests typically used for dementia studies, both as endpoints and as inclusion criteria. Cloud based and regulatory compliant CANTAB Connect software provides highly sensitive clinical outcomes assessment of cognition as a biomarker to identify even the most subtle improvements during the development of safe and effective drug treatments.

As new treatments come to market the need to identify patients early is essential in order to prescribe the most effective treatment before the damage is done. The Company’s medical software CANTAB Mobile has demonstrated the ability to rapidly detect the earliest signs of possible Alzheimer’s in patients and reassure those who are not at risk in over 25,000 cases within the NHS. Helping to reduce healthcare costs and match patients to suitable interventions as they become available.

Our latest innovation, Cognition Kit, unlocks the potential to measure patient outcomes in daily life using wearable technology to gather high-frequency data and assess the true real-world effectiveness of new pharmacological interventions.

There is great promise in the potential of new Alzheimer’s therapies. As the prevalence of the disease continues to rise, so too does the need to provide researchers, doctors and patients with more effective and efficient cognitive assessment technology. With over 30 years of peer-reviewed research pioneering digital neuroscience, Cambridge Cognition remain committed to improving the understanding, detection and treatment of CNS and mental health disorders through leading research and innovation.