- New research collaboration brings together world-leading institutions’ collective expertise in therapeutics, technology, health data, technology commercialisation and advanced analytics/data science in neurology.
- Two-year pilot provides a launch pad for translating scientific prototypes into practical solutions that demonstrate real-world impact.
- NEURii collaboration builds on Eisai’s extensive experience in delivering innovative treatments in neurology and supports ongoing contributions to the global digital health ecosystem.
TOKYO, HATFIELD, SEATTLE, LONDON, and EDINBURGH, 29 June, 2023 – Eisai, Gates Ventures, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), LifeArc and The University of Edinburgh announced today a new two-year collaborative research agreement. The collaboration, named NEURii is a unique pioneering partnership that creates a powerhouse collaboration of collective expertise in therapeutics, technology development and commercialization, health data management and advanced analytics/data science to predict, protect and promote brain health.
NEURii will focus its initial efforts to develop data and digital solutions to complement approved treatment options for patients and solve issues related to the prediction, prevention, management, and treatment of dementia related disorders.
This groundbreaking collaboration will use high-quality individual data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) to deliver patient-focused digital health solutions by developing initial pilot projects originated in highly recognized UK academic centres. These projects have been selected on the basis of their potential to make a meaningful difference to patients’ lives while maintaining data security and public trust. By combining diverse digital biomarkers that can be acquired non-invasively in real world clinical and non-clinical settings (e.g., speech from conversation) with the high-quality and abundant medical data accumulated in the UK, and analyzing them with tailored AI algorithms, NEURii will create innovative digital solutions. These will be deployed in the detection, monitoring and treatment of dementia patients in order to improve their lives as well as minimizing the impact of the disease burden on their carers and families.
This initial two-year pilot establishes a first-in-class launch pad underpinned by an innovative business model and scalable prototype for translating scientific prototypes that will enhance and improve public health demonstrating real world impact. It is envisaged that NEURii partners will explore further opportunities to scale up the program developing digital health solutions worldwide.
Dr. Teiji Kimura, Ph.D., Academia and Industry Alliance Officer, Deep Human Biology Learning (DHBL) Office of Eisai, commented, “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.”
It is estimated that more than 55 million are currently living with dementia in the world, and nearly one million people in the UK, and this number is expected to grow rapidly.1,2 As well as having a significant impact on the lives of patients and those who care for them (52% of the UK public knows someone who has been diagnosed with a form of dementia), these conditions place significant pressure on health and social care systems. Providing data-driven solutions that complement existing treatments could help to improve earlier detection and diagnosis, evidence-based treatment decision-making, monitoring of disease progression and maintenance of quality of life.
“AI and other advanced technologies are beginning to play a powerful role in medical research,” said Dr. Niranjan Bose, Managing Director of Health & Life Sciences at Gates Ventures. “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.”
“Identifying ways to prevent dementia and neurodegenerative disease is a key part of our multi-million-pound neurodegeneration program’ said Paul Wright, MND Translational Challenge Lead at LifeArc “‘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.”
The UK is a leader in digital technology investment and research across areas such as genomics, health data science, AI and ML, with rich and diverse health-related data. NEURii’s model will enable the identification of pioneering data and digital science, the mentoring of talented scientists and the translation of health prototypes into practical and accessible products. By bringing together the expertise and capabilities of the NEURii collaborators, it is hoped that the novel approach will provide an exciting launch-pad for new transformational digital products that can contribute to solving the ongoing challenges of dementia and neurodegenerative conditions.
Professor Andrew Morris, Director of HDR UK, said: “Almost one million people in the UK are living with dementia. This new public-private partnership aims to gain a deeper understanding of the disease through trustworthy use of large datasets of anonymised health data in secure environments. We will take forward a set of pilot projects and engage with the public. Our aim is to produce new data-driven products that will benefit patients and their families in detecting dementia, predicting its progress and better managing the disease.”
NEURii academic lead Professor Siddharthan Chandran, of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The University of Edinburgh is delighted to be part of this ambitious cross-sector digital partnership that has, as an explicit goal, the creation of low cost and globally scalable digital tools to predict and monitor dementia.”
Outputs from the NEURii collaboration will be shared quarterly internally and released externally when appropriate.
1 World Health Organization. Fact sheets, Dementia
2 Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dementia Statistics Hub. Number of people in the UK. 2022. Available at: https://dementiastatistics.org/about-dementia/prevalence-and-incidence/
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For queries relating to any of the signing partners: UoE, Gates Ventures, LifeArc and HDRUK
University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Innovations
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