Howard Fillit, MD: The Importance of Biomarkers for Alzheimer Disease

September 26, 2018

Fillit spoke about remaining need for additional biomarkers in Alzheimer, and what has been developed in recent years.

“I do think that in the next few years, we’re going to have a blood test [for Alzheimer].”

From 2000 to 2004, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) funded the positron emission tomography (PET) scan tracer injection of florbetapir F18, which was in its early stages of evaluation as a biomarker for patients being assessed for Alzheimer disease.

Now known as Amyvid, it was approved by the FDA as one of the first biomarkers for the disease. Howard Fillit, MD, the chief scientific officer and founding executive director of the ADDF, recalled how biomarkers have been a critical part of the ADDF’s mission since its inception.

At the ADDF’s 19th Annual Conference in Jersey City, New Jersey, NeurologyLive sat with Fillit to hear more about remaining need for additional biomarkers in Alzheimer, and what has been developed in recent years.

For Fillit, biomarkers are important for not merely diagnosis, but for measuring target engagement of therapies and for monitoring the efficacy of a given drug on the progression of the disease. He believes that in the next few years, a blood test will be available for the diagnosis of the neurodegenerative disease.