SOURCE: LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services

January 13, 2016 09:00 ET

LifeLabs Helping Canadians Identify Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Canadian Alz-ID® Test a Valuable Tool for Those Concerned About Their Risk of Developing Alzheimer's Disease

TORONTO, ON and VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - January 13, 2016) - A made-in-Canada blood test that identifies people at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease is exclusively available to Canadians through LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services ("LifeLabs"). The test, called Alz-ID, is Health Canada approved and available by LifeLabs through an exclusive partnership with Canadian health technology company Phenomenome Discoveries of Saskatchewan.

Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory loss, thinking and behaviour, with the average onset at about age 75. For those experiencing possible warning signs or who are concerned about someone who is, Alz-ID helps assess their risk of developing the disease so they may work with their healthcare provider to help reduce the risk.

"In recognition of Alzheimer's Awareness Month, we are pleased to highlight the Alz-ID test which LifeLabs has made available to Canadians through our partnership with Phenomenome Discoveries," says Sue Paish, President and CEO of LifeLabs. "Alz-ID is a made-in-Canada innovation helping patients become more actively involved in managing their own health. By identifying their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, patients can work with their healthcare providers to discuss further cognitive testing and lifestyle changes that may help reduce their risk. LifeLabs is committed to helping Canadians improve their personal health knowledge."

Alz-ID is a simple blood test that measures plasmalogen, a type of compound in the blood. Low levels of plasmalogen have been linked to decreased mental function and increased Alzheimer's risk. In an extensive study conducted in partnership with Rush University in Chicago, Illinois -- one of the leading institutes for Alzheimer's disease research -- Phenomenome Discoveries confirmed earlier findings that low levels of plasmalogen are highly predictive of a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. A person with low blood plasmalogens has a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than a person with healthy levels [source: http://alzidlabtest.com/].

The Alz-ID test categorizes results into one of three risk categories: people at increased, average, or decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The test does not diagnose Alzheimer's disease and being high-risk does not automatically mean a person will get Alzheimer's disease. Alz-ID results should be used in conjunction with other diagnostic tests to asses a patient's overall risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"We are pleased to expand our partnership with LifeLabs for the exclusive distribution of the Alz-ID test in Canada," says Dr. Dayan Goodenowe, President and CEO of Phenomenome Discoveries. "Identifying people with specific risk factors empowers those Canadians to take control of their own health and take proactive steps to reduce their risk to combat this disease before it begins."

Individuals experiencing possible warnings signs and who are concerned about their risk should speak with their family physician about getting the Alz-ID test. The test is not reimbursed by provincial health insurance plans but may be covered by extended private health insurance plans. Healthcare providers should visit http://alzidlabtest.com/ for more information about how to order the test.

Alz-ID® is a trademark of Phenomenome Discoveries Inc., registered in Canada and in use in other countries.

About LifeLabs: www.LifeLabs.com

LifeLabs is a Canadian-owned company with over 50 years of experience providing laboratory testing services to help health care providers diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent disease in patients. In communities across British Columbia and Ontario, LifeLabs delivers cost-effective, convenient access to laboratory testing services which are essential for optimal outcomes in health care. LifeLabs employs approximately 5,400 professionally trained staff and delivers over 100 million laboratory tests, supporting 19 million patient visits annually. In 2013, LifeLabs acquired BC Biomedical in British Columbia and CML HealthCare in Ontario making LifeLabs the largest community laboratory in Canada. LifeLabs is indirectly owned by OMERS Administration Corporation, whose interest is managed by Borealis Infrastructure.

About OMERS Private Markets ("OPM")

OPM (Borealis Infrastructure and OMERS Private Equity) invests globally in infrastructure and private equity assets on behalf of the OMERS pension plan. Investments are aimed at generating superior, risk-adjusted returns to help deliver strong and sustainable pensions to OMERS members. OPM's diversified portfolio of large‐scale infrastructure assets exhibits stability and strong cash flows, in sectors including energy, transportation and government -- regulated services. OPM has offices in Toronto, New York, London and Sydney. OMERS is one of Canada's largest pension funds with net assets of CAD$72 billion. For more information, please visit www.omers.com.

About Phenomenome Discoveries: http://www.phenomenome.com/

Phenomenome Discoveries Inc. (PDI) is a health research company with a novel and patented metabolomics technology. We use this technology to investigate how diseases arise, determine who is most likely to develop a disease, and design mechanism-based restorative therapies that treat the causes of disease rather than the symptoms. Through this integrated approach, our ultimate goal is to prevent diseases from developing. PDI is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Through collaborations and partnerships with researchers and companies worldwide, PDI is a global health research company.

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