Alzheimer’s Research UK Blood Biomarker Challenge

Closing Date: 29/09/2023

Funding to generate the clinical and economic data that could potentially make the case for blood biomarker implementation in a healthcare setting in the UK.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is a UK dementia research charity dedicated to funding world-class research to find preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK has launched the Blood Biomarker Challenge with funding support from the People’s Postcode Lottery, Alzheimer’s Society, and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to fund research with the potential to produce the clinical and economic data that could help make the case for blood biomarker implementation in a healthcare setting in the UK.

The programme will fund a prospective, community-based project lasting four to five years that assesses a panel of biomarkers in real-world populations. Applications may address, but may not be limited to, some of the following:

  • Determination of whether blood-based markers (BBMs) improve standard diagnostic assessment in secondary and tertiary memory clinics.
  • Establishment of optimal biomarker combinations for improved diagnosis in secondary and tertiary memory clinics.
  • Study factors that affect interpretation of BBMs levels in real-world populations, such as race and ethnicity, and comorbidities.
  • Head-to-head studies comparing the performance of various BBMs assays in the same clinical context.
  • Validation of biomarkers against suitable benchmarks, with neuropathological link.

The proposal must include multiple study sites across the UK, with at least one of them having access to specialist techniques with links to other validated measures of underlying pathology, such as CSF or PET. The study should broadly represent the diversity of the UK population.

The NIHR has specific interest in the economic evaluation aspect of the study. Therefore, the winning bid must have a component of economic analysis on the use of BBMs in healthcare settings, and this must be costed separately. The economic analysis could, for example:

  • Help forecast what would be the cost of BBM implementation.
  • Help calculate if they are cost-effective to the healthcare system (eg, if they help produce different health outcomes by detecting the disease earlier), even in the absence of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).
  • If a DMT is approved during the duration of the project, help understand the cost implications BBMs may have in the access to treatments.

The successful applicants will be required to work closely with the Policy and Influencing teams at Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society, both during the project and after completion, to work towards the implementation of blood biomarkers in healthcare settings where the findings of the project support this.

Funding body Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK)
Maximum value £4,500,000
Reference ID S25197
Category Medical Research
Fund or call Fund