Identifying Impactful Biomarkers of Alzheimer Disease: Sudhir Sivakumaran, PhD; Klaus Romero, MD, MS, FCP

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The duo from the Critical Path Institute detailed the thought process behind evaluating the importance of specific biomarkers and their relation to disability progression in Alzheimer disease.

"For every biomarker, we need to ask ourselves the question, ‘How can this biomarker help optimize drug development?’”

There are several biomarker tests that are used for research on Alzheimer disease (AD) and related dementias. Changes in the brains of individuals with these disorders may begin many years before memory loss or other symptoms appear, and utilizing these biomarkers may help detect these changes and thus better identify people who may develop these diseases and may be eligible for treatment options.

Biomarkers such as neurofilament light chain, amyloid-beta, tau, and the radiotracer flurodeoxyglucose have all gained traction in recent years. While clinicians typically have agreed on several biomarkers that have clinical relevancy in AD, finding the gold standard biomarker—if one exists for AD—is still an ongoing process. The Critical Path for Alzheimer’s Disease (CPAD) consortium, an organization that promotes data-sharing among drug development stakeholders, has embarked on a new initiative since 2019 to acquire fluid and imaging biomarker-rich data sources that will hopefully assist in developing novel tools to quantify disease progression better.

Sudhir Sivakumaran, PhD, vice president, Neuroscience Program, and Executive Director, CPAD, and Klaus Romero, MD, MS, FCP, chief science officer, CPAD, recently sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the thought of prioritizing specific biomarkers. The duo claimed that the consortium does not limit itself to a single biomarker focus, but rather any biomarker that correlates with disease progression and helps improve clinical trial efficiency.