A digital neuroscience company is launching a pioneering new programme to help schizophrenia patients thanks to funding from Innovate UK.

AIM-listed Cambridge Cognition, which develops and markets software products to improve brain health, plans to develop a non-invasive digital biomarker to better predict who will benefit from a new type of personalised medication in schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia affects more than 21 million people worldwide and is associated with large health and societal costs, estimated to be around £12bn per year in the UK and $60bn per year in the US.

In developing a new digital biomarker, Cambridge Cognition aims to demonstrate the ability to identify schizophrenia patients who will benefit from personalised medicines targeting a particular aspect of brain function.

It also hopes to find people in the general population who are at risk, in order to help prevent schizophrenia cases in future.

The group has also announced a major new contract for a multi-national clinical study with a leading pharmaceutical company. 

It will deliver the study's cognitive assessments, patient reported outcomes and clinician reported outcomes on its CANTAB Connect cloud software.

"We are delighted to have been awarded this substantial clinical contract by our pharmaceutical partner to work with them to deliver this new study and we expect it to benefit our future revenues significantly," said CEO Dr Steven Powell.

"We are also delighted to be awarded the Innovate UK grant which will enable us to work even closer with our partners in the pharmaceutical industry to enhance their drug development pipelines and provide first in class personalised medicines for major health conditions like schizophrenia."