A tiny Tokyo-based diagnostics firm that developed the first U.S.-approved spinal fluid test for Alzheimer’s is now doubling down on developing blood tests — an easier method to detect the brain-wasting disease against which a blockbuster therapy is expected soon.

Fujirebio Holding — a unit of H.U. Group Holdings, which has a market value of ¥166.2 billion ($1.2 billion) — is boosting its lineup of reagents used to detect Alzheimer’s biomarkers in blood tests. It aims to file these tests for approval in the United States as early as 2023, according to Fujirebio Chief Executive Officer Goki Ishikawa.

"The lineups offered by industry leaders are still limited,” Ishikawa said in an interview. "We are rushing to create a solid lineup of tests as quickly as possible. We can’t wait long, really have to start seeking approvals in the U.S. in a year or so.”