Dementia Solutions: Eisai, Gates, UK Health & Univ. Edinburgh

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Source – Eisai

On June 29, 2023, Eisai, Gates Ventures, Health Data Research UK, LifeArc, and The University of Edinburgh made an announcement regarding a new collaborative research agreement set to last for two years. This collaboration, known as NEURii, represents a unique and pioneering partnership that brings together collective expertise in therapeutics, technology development, commercialization, health data management, and advanced analytics/data science to predict, protect, and promote brain health.

Neurii’s primary focus during its initial phase will be the development of data and digital solutions that complement approved treatment options for patients, addressing various challenges associated with the prediction, prevention, management, and treatment of dementia-related disorders.

This groundbreaking collaboration will leverage high-quality individual data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) to deliver patient-centric digital health solutions. It will achieve this by initiating pilot projects originating from esteemed academic centers in the UK. These projects have been carefully selected based on their potential to significantly impact patients’ lives while ensuring the security of data and maintaining public trust. NEURii will combine diverse digital biomarkers that can be non-invasively acquired from real-world clinical and non-clinical settings (e.g., speech from conversations) with the abundant and high-quality medical data accumulated in the UK. By analyzing this data with tailored AI algorithms, NEURii aims to create innovative digital solutions that can be deployed in the detection, monitoring, and treatment of dementia patients. The ultimate goal is to enhance the lives of these patients while minimizing the burden of the disease on their caregivers and families.

This initial two-year pilot program establishes a first-of-its-kind launch pad supported by an innovative business model and a scalable prototype for translating scientific prototypes into tangible improvements in public health. NEURii partners envision exploring additional opportunities to expand the program and develop digital health solutions on a global scale.

“Dementia is one of the major social and medical issues in an aging society, and Eisai’s mission is to contribute to solving these issues. We aim to create new digital solutions that will contribute to solving the challenges of dementia by combining the UK’s leadership in this field with our experience and track record of continuously creating innovative treatments in the field of dementia whilst staying true to our human health care concept of giving first thought to patients and the people in the daily living domain.”

– Dr. Teiji Kimura, Ph.D., Academia and Industry Alliance Officer, Deep Human Biology Learning (DHBL) Office of Eisai

Currently, it is estimated that over 55 million people worldwide are living with dementia, with nearly one million in the UK alone. This number is expected to grow rapidly. The impact of these conditions on patients and their caregivers is significant, with 52% of the UK public knowing someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia. Moreover, these conditions exert considerable pressure on healthcare and social care systems. By providing data-driven solutions that complement existing treatments, there is a potential to improve early detection and diagnosis, evidence-based treatment decision-making, disease progression monitoring, and overall quality of life.

“AI and other advanced technologies are beginning to play a powerful role in medical research. I’m excited about how the NEURii collaboration will apply these tools to diagnostics research and drug discovery, and contribute to breakthroughs that can improve life for millions of people suffering with dementia and dementia-related illnesses.”

– Dr. Niranjan Bose, Managing Director of Health & Life Sciences at Gates Ventures

“Identifying ways to prevent dementia and neurodegenerative disease is a key part of our multi-million-pound neurodegeneration program. This collaboration is one of many new innovative projects we are involved in to improve the diagnosis of dementia and a positive step towards predicting those who may develop the disease.”

– Paul Wright, MND Translational Challenge Lead at LifeArc 

The UK stands as a leader in digital technology investment and research, particularly in fields like genomics, health data science, AI, and ML, boasting a rich and diverse collection of health-related data. NEURii’s model enables the identification of pioneering data and digital science, mentoring of talented scientists, and translation of health prototypes into practical and accessible products. By harnessing the expertise and capabilities of the NEURii collaborators, this novel approach hopes to serve as an exciting launch pad for the development of transformative digital products that contribute to overcoming the ongoing challenges posed by dementia and neurodegenerative conditions.

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