The CombiDiag network brings together leading academic and industrial experts across Europe and worldwide and uses their synergies to build an interdisciplinary and intersectoral research and training platform for the training of a new generation of scientists. 

The network involves institutions in AD diagnostics or related fields: universities and research institutions across Europe, SMEs, a public health and biomedical research institute and as associated partners international institutions/companies from USA, Canada and China, including the major non-profit non-governmental organisation in Europe for people with dementia Alzheimer Europe.

CombiDiag's Partners and Consortium Group

Universitätsmedizin Rostock

The University Medicine Rostock has more than 4,300 employees and another 500 in subsidiaries. Every day, almost 1,000 university physicians: doctors, scientists, scientific staff and students work on over 500 basic and patient-oriented projects in associations and collaborations. This enables inter- and transdisciplinary cutting-edge research, including in the areas of biomedical engineering/biomaterials and neuroscience, as well as in the profile area of oncology.

Reasearch at the Rostock University Medical Center has always benefited from the proximity to the other faculties of the University of Rostock and other non-university scientific institutions at the location, such as the DZNE (Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen).

Nordic Bioscience

Nordic Bioscience is a privately held biotech company located in Herlev, Denmark. It currently employs roughly 200 people of which 80 are the in the Research and Development division. In addition to R&D, Nordic Bioscience has a laboratory division (measurement of various routine parameters for clinical trials as well as Nordic Bioscience’s own biomarkers under strict regulations), and a Clinical Research Organization, which collaborates with pharma on all aspects of clinical trial conduct.

In the R&D division, the focus is on two things. 1) Development of novel biomarkers for a host of diseases, such as arthritis, liver, lung fibrosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular and renal disease. 2) Development of novel peptide drugs for the metabolic space. Of the 80 working in R&D app. 15 are involved in the development of novel peptide drugs, whereas the remaining are employed in the biomarker division.

The company has a very strong focus on research and development and has trained more than 45 PhD students and more than 80 master thesis students. In addition, another 20 PhD students and 12 master thesis students are presently in training at Nordic Bioscience. Additionally, The Nordic Bioscience team has published more than 650 papers in peer-reviewed journals each year.

The financial situation of the company is good, and the revenue is primarily derived from the biomarker measurements conducted for pharma clients.

Université Côte d’Azur

Université Côte d’Azur is a cluster bringing together the university and higher education institutions of the Côte d’Azur region. In 2016, Université Côte d’Azur supported the project UCAJEDI, which was selected as one of the eight French Initiatives of Excellence (IDEX). The UCAJEDI strategy rests on three pillars: (i) an ambitious and cutting-edge scientific vision; (ii) an uninhibited relationship with local authorities and companies, dedicated to the economic dynamics of the territory; (iii) a simple, efficient governance, able to make quick decisions. This strategy aims at giving rise to a world-class research-intensive University. Based on a model of a Graduate University, Université Côte d’Azur encompasses an initial and ongoing training offer, linked to fundamental and applied research. Université Côte d’Azur’s ambition is to promote original and innovative doctoral programs that will attract the highest-level doctoral candidates and early-stage researchers worldwide. Université Côte d’Azur is also part of the Ulysseus European University.

CoBTeK lab (Cognition Behavior Technology) is a research unit  (EA 7276) of the Université Côte d'Azur created in partnership with INRIA in 2011. The team aims to develop research on the use of information and communication technologies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental pathologies.

Sapienza University of Rome

The Sapienza University of Rome (UNIROMA1) is a public research ty located in Rome, Italy. It is one of the largest European universities (> 140,000 students) and one of the oldest in history, founded in 1303. It is among the most prestigious Italian universities, commonly ranking first in national rankings and Southern Europe (see QS World University Rankings and ARWU). The Sapienza University of Rome has educated several notable alumni (e.g., Nobel laureates, Presidents of the European Parliament, European Commissioners, and heads of several nations) and has been directly involved in key changes and developments in Italian society, economics, and politics.

At the Sapienza University of Rome, the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology "Vittorio Erspamer" was established in 2000 and belongs to the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine. The Department now includes more than 50 scholars between professors and researchers from different research areas: Physiology, Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy, and Sport and Physical Exercise Sciences.

The departmental Laboratory of Neurophysiology of Human Higher Functions was the first to be equipped with high-resolution EEG techniques in Europe (1980s). Nowadays, it hosts advanced EEG studies in Alzheimer’s and related diseases in cooperation with the international PDWAVES Consortium led by Prof. Claudio Babiloni.

University of Plymouth

UoP is one of the largest Universities in the UK and has currently an enrolment of approximately 18,500 students. It is ranked Top 5 UK Young University in the 2022 Times Higher Education Young University Rankings. The University employs over 2,500 staff and has an annual turnover of £239 million. UoP is the recipient of the European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award, and Athena SWAN Bronze award.UoP is also the UK’s first Dementia Friendly University and a lead centre for the South West UK dementia network funded by Alzheimers Research UK. The Staff in the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (SECaM) will lead the UoP contributions.

Instituto de Salud Carlos III

The Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII) is the national and international reference for biomedical research and public health in Spain. It is the Public Research Organization of the Government responsible for funding and executing national biomedical research. ISCIII, which was founded in 1986 to promote and coordinate biomedical research, has two campuses in Madrid, hosting many centers and units, including the Chronic Disease Research Unit which works in different health areas, such as neuroscience, and cancer.

In addition, the institute has promoted and financed the Network Biomedical Research Centers Consortium (CIBER). Thus, the aim of ISCIII is to promote research and innovation in Health Sciences and Biomedicine through it's multidisciplinary and multicenter teams. 

University of Reading

Founded in 1926, the University of Reading is a research-intensive university with a substantial reputation for research excellence. Most recent results of the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF 2021) to assess research quality, revealed 99% of University of Reading research is internationally recognised, 86% research is classed as internationally excellent and 40% research is world leading. The University thrives within and drives a network of business, policy, and creative relationships in the heart of the Thames Valley, and is known for its international work and global approach.


Firalis is a French biotechnology company, founded in 2008 at the triple borders between Switzerland, Germany and France, and specialized in biomarker R&D and developing precision medicine tools in various fields. Firalis also provides a comprehensive range of biomarker services; supports biomarker discovery, validation, evaluation, and qualification activities in clinical settings. Thanks to our experienced team and cutting-edge laboratory equipment, we develop and deliver solutions for biomarker assays customized to clients’ projects. Firalis contributed to numerous consortia and conducted specifically designed clinical studies for biomarker qualification such as CardioSAVE, HeartLinc, ADDIA, RabioPred, Pacific, NeuroDeGene and CoviRNA. Our partnerships with the pharma industry have resulted in a high sense of quality and reliability in the data we deliver. Firalis is certified ISO 13485 for the development of CE-marked assays, ISO14001 for environmental management to reduce company carbon footprint, NFS96 900 for its biobank and accredited ISO17025 for testing activities. The company has recently CAP certified which is considered by the FDA as an equivalate to the CLIA laboratory. 

Role in the project: 

Firalis will apply their state-of-the-art technology for the identification of novel urine biomarkers (miRNA, lncRNA, proteins, and metabolites) associated with early-stage Alzheimer Disease (AD), integration of diverse biomarker measurements from peripheral body fluids (urine, blood, and saliva) to characterize and distinguish patients with AD from those with NAD. Furthermore, imaging data (volumetric MRI and PET scans), genetic and transcriptomics data, as well as clinical and biochemical information of human samples from multiple studies such as ADDIA (NCT03030586), ADKIT and ADCHIP from Firalis biobank, and samples from CombDiag partners, will be incorporated to build a comprehensive dementia knowledge base for future modelling and artificial intelligence (AI) approaches, such as deep learning. Eventually, statistical analyses and predictive modelling will be conducted to determine the optimal combination of urine biomarkers and their synergy with previously discovered blood-derived biomarkers for early AD detection.

Fraunhofer IBMT

The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT is one of the > 70 institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the leading organization for applied research in Europe. Operating in the international growth markets for life sciences and medicine/medical engineering, the Fraunhofer IBMT works primarily as a technology and device developer in the areas of biomedical/medical engineering, employing especially non-invasive and minimally invasive as well as miniaturized technologies. The Fraunhofer IBMT has more than 20 years of experience in micro devices for in vivo and in vitro applications such as active implantable systems and diagnostic devices including lab-on-chip. For more than 10 years, Fraunhofer IBMT has been working in the field of stem cell research and hosting extensive cell line stocks in industrial and clinically structured biobanks for low temperature storage of valuable samples (fluids, cells, tissue fragments).

CombiDiag's PhD Fellows