Cognitive services provider for the clinical trials industry NeuroCog Trials has scored a 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), to further validate its 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 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 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 incorporate new tests suited for screening individuals for cognitive decline, establish normative performance data in healthy controls aged 55+, and compare healthy controls and aging adults with cognitive complaints.
“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,” Richard Keefe Ph.D., Founder and CEO of NeuroCog Trials, said in a statement. “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.”
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.