Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) – Apple Partners With Biogen On Research Into Detecting Early Alzheimer’s, Dementia Symptoms

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Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB), which has a fairly solid neurology-focused pipeline, announced Monday a collaboration with tech giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL).

What Happened: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen said it has tied up with Apple for a virtual study to investigate the role of the Apple Watch and iPhone in monitoring cognitive performance and screening for a decline in cognitive health, including mild cognitive impairment. 

The multiyear observational research study, which will enroll young and aging patients, is scheduled for launch this year. 

The study’s primary objectives are to develop digital biomarkers to help monitor cognitive performance over time and identify early signs of MCI.

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Why It’s Important: Declines in cognitive health affect about 15%-20% of adults over the age of 65. Diagnosis often is delayed, and it can take months to years before cognitive decline is detected.

“Cognitive decline can be an early symptom of neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. The successful development of digital biomarkers in brain health would help address the significant need to accelerate patient diagnoses and empower physicians and individuals to take timely action,” Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos said in a statement. 

Apple COO Jeff Williams said that in collaborating with Biogen, Cupertino hopes “this study can help the medical community better understand a person’s cognitive performance by simply having them engage with their Apple Watch and iPhone.”

At last check, Biogen shares were up 3.19% at $260.60, while Apple was down 1.7% at $129.80. 

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