Neuroimaging and CSF Biomarker Development Program


Funding is open to researchers and clinicians worldwide at:

  • Academic medical centers and universities or nonprofits. Industry partnerships are strongly encouraged.
  • Biotechnology companies. Funding is provided through mission-related investments that require return on investment based upon scientific and/or business milestones. Existing companies and new startups are both eligible.

Given the pathological heterogeneity of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, new biomarkers are needed to more accurately characterize specific underlying pathophysiology.

This RFP seeks to support the development of CSF and neuroimaging biomarkers for multiple contexts of use (see below) that include but are not limited to:

  1. Clearly demonstrate target engagement for novel therapeutics
    The development of biomarkers that can serve as measures of target engagement for novel targets such as neuroinflammation features (e.g. microglial activity, cytokine production, astrocytic activity), synaptic damage, metabolic activity, mitochondrial dysfunction, vascular health and epigenetic changes, among others, are of particular interest. High priority will be given to projects developing biomarkers that can be used in combination with therapies currently in development and serve as companion biomarkers.
  2. Detect signs of disease earlier and monitor progression
    We are seeking programs developing sensitive biomarkers that can detect disease earlier than currently available tests. This includes biomarkers that can predict and monitor conversion from cognitively healthy to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or MCI to Alzheimer's disease. We also seek prognostic markers that can predict rates of cognitive decline.
  3. More accurately diagnose and distinguish between dementia subtypes
    Many types of dementias can present with similar clinical features, and patients often show overlapping pathologies. At present, it is challenging to distinguish between dementia subtypes. Biomarkers that can distinguish between subtypes and stratify patients in clinical trials are of high priority.

Biomarker Targets

Novel biomarkers of neuroinflammation and synaptic integrity are considered high priority. Other target areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Neurodegeneration
  • Vascular injury or blood-brain barrier integrity
  • Mitochondria & metabolic function
  • Protein misfolding/proteostasis
  • Oxidative stress
  • White matter changes

Other novel targets and pathways that are supported by compelling evidence demonstrating a rational biological connection to the disease process are encouraged.


Must be received by 5:00 pm ET on the deadline date.

Letter of Intent
January 18, 2019

Invited Full Proposal
February 8, 2019

Letter of Intent
April 12, 2019

Invited Full Proposal
May 10, 2019

Letter of Intent
July 12, 2019

Invited Full Proposal
August 9, 2019

Letter of Intent
October 11, 2019

Invited Full Proposal
November 8, 2019

The ADDF considers its application process an iterative one, and we would be happy to talk to you about your program. 

For program-related inquiries, please contact:
Meriel Owen, PhD, Scientific Program Officer

For application submission inquiries, please contact:
Grants and Mission-Related Investments Team

Agency Name: 
Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation -
Contact Name: 
Penny D'Agnone
Grant Amount: 
Average Award $150,000-$600,000 based on stage and scope of research. Larger amounts will be considered for PET ligand development for regulatory or clinical work. For studies requiring additional support, co-funding from other funding agencies or investors is encouraged. One year with potential for follow-on funding. Multi-year proposals can be considered.
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Friday, October 11, 2019
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Grant Eligibility: