NIH Funding Will Support Further Development Of The BAC App For Use As A Screening Tool For Cognitive Decline In Aging Populations


DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, May 18, 2016 – NeuroCog Trials, Inc., the leading cognitive services provider for the clinical trials industry, today announced that it has been awarded a 2016 Direct to Phase II grant from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for development and validation of the iPad-based Brief Assessment of Cognition (BAC) App for use as a screening tool for cognitive decline in age-related CNS disorders.

The 2-year funded project builds on the successful company-sponsored development of the BAC App from the pen-and-paper version of the BAC that is widely-used in international clinical trials and academic studies. The BAC App facilitates rater administration of the cognitive performance tests to patients with standardized voice-over task instructions, automated presentation of stimuli and features recording of responses, instant access to data, and the option for audio recording of test sessions for independent data quality review. The grant project will enable NeuroCog Trials to incorporate new tests suited for screening individuals for cognitive decline, establish normative performance data for the BAC App in healthy controls aged 55 and over, and compare healthy controls and aging adults with cognitive complaints.

The Administration on Aging (AoA) estimates that by the year 2040, adults over age 65 will account for greater than 21% of the U.S. population. As the population continues to age, reliable and cost-effective strategies for screening and treating cognitive impairment in aging adults are increasingly critical.

Richard Keefe Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NeuroCog Trials, said “We are gratified to receive NIA support to further develop the BAC App, and to specifically address the challenges of an ever-growing aging population. Our recent validation study comparing the BAC App to the original pen-and-paper version demonstrated excellent psychometric properties and sensitivity of the tests to the effects of age in a relatively small sample. This gives us great confidence to proceed with the addition of new tests targeted at cognitive domains known to decline with age, and most importantly, to undertake extensive normative data collection for the test battery. This will allow us to further broaden the application of the BAC App as a screening tool, outcome measure in clinical trials, and potentially for individual patient assessment by clinicians.”

 About NeuroCog Trials

NeuroCog Trials Inc. is the leading cognition services company for the pharmaceutical industry. For more than 10 years, NeuroCog Trials has provided consulting, site screening, rater training and certification, and data review services to more than 100 clinical trials in over 25 countries. NeuroCog Trials has certified more than 6,000 raters and assured data quality for over 150,000 assessments across a variety of therapeutic areas, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis and brain cancer. Our mission is to facilitate the development of novel therapies to enhance cognition. We bring to all of our work deep expertise, strategic innovation, and an unwavering commitment to research excellence.