Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) launched its 11th call for proposals on December 11th, 2013. The call features eight topics including the “European platform for proof of concept for prevention in Alzheimer’s Disease” (EPOC-AD).

EPOC-AD calls for greater cooperation and collaboration between academia, government and industry to enhance the drug development process.

The project would create a precompetitive space to enable collaboration for optimising patient selection, clinical trials methodologies and candidate therapies, as well as conducting adaptive clinical trials that will produce the greatest likelihood of success.

A declaration and a communique present the agreements consolidated at the G8 Dementia Summit in London on December 11th, 2013.

G8 countries have agreed:

  1. The ambition to identify a cure or therapy for dementia by 2025, with a commitment to significantly increase spending on dementia research and increase the number of people involved in dementia research.
  2. The creation of a Global Envoy for Dementia Innovation, following the pattern of earlier global envoys on HIV and Aids and on Climate Change, to stimulate innovation and coordinate international efforts to attract sources of finance, such as a private and philanthropic fund to support global dementia innovation.
  3. The development of an international action plan for research, identifying current knowledge gaps and how to close those gaps.
  4. A commitment to achieve better sharing of information and data from dementia research studies across G8 countries, through collaborative working and aiming at the derivation of optimal returns on investment in research.
  5. A commitment to encourage open access to all publicly funded dementia research, making data and results available for further research as quickly as possible.

The first G8 Summit on dementia is being held in London on December 11th, 2013

The G8 Dementia Summit will bring together, for the first time, health ministers from around the world with the aim of stimulating investment in dementia research, improving the prevention and treatment of dementia, and improving quality of life for people with dementia. 

‘The G8 Summit in London presents a unique opportunity for international leaders to tackle dementia on a global scale and represents a large step forward in raising awareness and promoting the need for increased research in this area’, according to Professor Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board. 

The number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2013 is now estimated at 44 million – a figure set to triple within a generation.  With no single country having the resources to combat dementia alone, the G8 summit is therefore a very positive step towards international commitments to increase research investments and improve coordination of dementia research.

‘As the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s, JPND is looking forward to working with the new plans and initiatives emerging from the summit’, said Professor Amouyel.  ‘JPND has developed a widely recognized research strategy and accumulated a large experience in large collaborative programs in dementia that can help to accelerate the development of future G8 proposals, as suggested by a recent editorial in The Lancet Neurology’.

JPND brings together researchers, national funding bodies and the existing research evidence in 27 countries to investigate the key research questions and barriers to progress in the area of neurodegenerative diseases.

G8 Countries:
Canada, France, Germany, Italy Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America (with representation from the European Union)

JPND-participating Countries:
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

The summit declaration and comminique were released on Dec. 11th 2013.  You can  download both at the file links below:

The JPND Action Group on longitudinal cohort studies has published its report, bringing together for the first time the wealth of cohort opportunities for neurodegeneration research across JPND countries.

JPND is currently investigating potential actions for both disease-based and population-based longitudinal cohort studies, whereby current member state-led or European Commission-supported activities can be expanded or better exploited, or new activities identified.

A JPND Action Group on Longitudinal Cohort studies in Neurodegeneration Research met during 2013 and has reported back to JPND.  The group was tasked with:  

  • Taking stock of current longitudinal cohort studies for both ND-based and general population studies of relevance
  • Determining how JPND adds value to existing cohort investments
  • Identifying gaps and cases for new activity in areas of unmet need
  • Scoping the emerging scientific opportunities

The report spans general population-based, targeted (preclinical) and disease-focused cohorts. Valuable information that is immediately accessible include:

  • analyses of longitudinal and disease cohort studies
  • an analysis of imaging studies
  • a cohort reference list with web links

The information provided on imaging and in the reference list represents a snapshot of what was available to the Action Group during 2013. Whereas the listings aim to be as comprehensive as possible, JPND is requesting that any studies omitted from the list should contact JPND (secretariat@jpnd.eu) with their information, which will be added when the lists are updated.       

Implementation of JPND actions in this area will be based on the advice in the report. The options for implementation are based on an analysis of the opportunities presented by current European longitudinal cohort capability as well as comparison with selected international studies. Recommendations span coordination, funding and policy areas. Priorities for action will be set by JPND Management Board for announcement in 2014.

The report can be downloaded at the link below:  

The JPND Action Group on longitudinal cohort studies has published its report, bringing together for the first time the wealth of cohort opportunities for neurodegeneration research across JPND countries.

JPND is currently investigating potential actions for both disease-based and population-based longitudinal cohort studies, whereby current member state-led or European Commission-supported activities can be expanded or better exploited, or new activities identified.

A JPND Action Group on Longitudinal Cohort studies in Neurodegeneration Research met during 2013 and has reported back to JPND.  The group was tasked with:  

  • Taking stock of current longitudinal cohort studies for both ND-based and general population studies of relevance
  • Determining how JPND adds value to existing cohort investments
  • Identifying gaps and cases for new activity in areas of unmet need
  • Scoping the emerging scientific opportunities

The report spans general population-based, targeted (preclinical) and disease-focused cohorts. Valuable information that is immediately accessible include:

  • analyses of longitudinal and disease cohort studies
  • an analysis of imaging studies
  • a cohort reference list with web links

The information provided on imaging and in the reference list represents a snapshot of what was available to the Action Group during 2013. Whereas the listings aim to be as comprehensive as possible, JPND is requesting that any studies omitted from the list should contact JPND (secretariat@jpnd.eu) with their information, which will be added when the lists are updated.       

Implementation of JPND actions in this area will be based on the advice in the report. The options for implementation are based on an analysis of the opportunities presented by current European longitudinal cohort capability as well as comparison with selected international studies. Recommendations span coordination, funding and policy areas. Priorities for action will be set by JPND Management Board for announcement in 2014.

The report can be downloaded at the link below:  

The first G8 Summit on dementia is being held in London on December 11th, 2013

The G8 Dementia Summit will bring together, for the first time, health ministers from around the world with the aim of stimulating investment in dementia research, improving the prevention and treatment of dementia, and improving quality of life for people with dementia. 

‘The G8 Summit in London presents a unique opportunity for international leaders to tackle dementia on a global scale and represents a large step forward in raising awareness and promoting the need for increased research in this area’, according to Professor Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board. 

The number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2013 is now estimated at 44 million – a figure set to triple within a generation.  With no single country having the resources to combat dementia alone, the G8 summit is therefore a very positive step towards international commitments to increase research investments and improve coordination of dementia research.

‘As the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s, JPND is looking forward to working with the new plans and initiatives emerging from the summit’, said Professor Amouyel.  ‘JPND has developed a widely recognized research strategy and accumulated a large experience in large collaborative programs in dementia that can help to accelerate the development of future G8 proposals, as suggested by a recent editorial in The Lancet Neurology’.

JPND brings together researchers, national funding bodies and the existing research evidence in 27 countries to investigate the key research questions and barriers to progress in the area of neurodegenerative diseases.

G8 Countries:
Canada, France, Germany, Italy Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America (with representation from the European Union)

JPND-participating Countries:
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

The summit declaration and comminique were released on Dec. 11th 2013.  You can  download both at the file links below:

An Alzheimer Disease International (ADI) policy brief entitled ‘The Global Impact of Dementia 2013-2050’ has revealed a staggering 17% increase in the number of people living with dementia, compared to the original ADI estimates in the 2009 World Alzheimer Report.

The first G8 Dementia Summit took place in London, UK, on 11 December. The summit will aim to identify and agree a new international approach to dementia research and policy. 

This Alzheimer Disease International brief for the summit reveals that the number of people living with dementia worldwide in 2013 is now estimated at 44 million, reaching 76 million in 2030 and 135 million by 2050.

The report also predicts a shift in the distribution of the global burden of dementia. Where previously high income countries have witnessed the strongest visible trends, it will now be low and middle income countries who will feel the heaviest burden. By 2050, 71% of people with dementia will live in low and middle income countries.

JPND has launched two calls for proposals aimed at encouraging research teams across Europe to investigate the cross-disease pathways in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and to identify new, innovative preventive strategies for these debilitating conditions.

‘Neurodegenerative Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are a global health, economic and social emergency with numbers affected expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050’ according to Professor Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board.  

‘With this in mind, JPND-participating countries have identified two further areas of greatest need for targeted investment in order to improve understanding of the underlying links between different diseases, and to encourage new ideas on preventive strategies’.

Professor Amouyel added ‘This investment is part of a series of JPND funding initiatives, aimed at addressing priority areas identified in our European Research Strategy.  This year’s calls will see over 23 million euro made available to applicants from 18 different countries’.

According to Professor Thomas Gasser, University of Tübingen and Chair of the JPND Scientific Advisory Board,  ‘Neurodegenerative diseases currently cannot be cured, prevented, or even substantially slowed. In order to tackle these diseases together, we need greater thinking across traditional clinical boundaries and new, innovative ideas aimed at preventing disease development and progression in healthy, at-risk and early-stage populations. These calls aim to harness the necessary expertise across Europe and globally to address these needs in the fight against these diseases’. 

The following neurodegenerative diseases are included for both calls:

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Parkinson’s disease and PD-related disorders
  • Prion disease
  • Motor neurone diseases 
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

Call 1: Cross-Disease Analysis of Pathways
There is clinical, genetic and biochemical evidence that similar molecular pathways are relevant in different neurodegenerative and other chronic diseases. Therefore, clinical phenotypes alone seem insufficient to provide an understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved, and to be the sole basis for prognosis and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.   This call is for multidisciplinary proposals (e.g. combining fundamental, pre-clinical and/or clinical research with computational approaches) to perform network analyses in different neurodegenerative and other chronic diseases to elucidate the underlying mechanisms involved.  The combined analysis of diseases across traditional clinical boundaries may lead to a re-definition of clinical phenotypes and new approaches in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

JPND Countries Participating in this call: 
Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Turkey

Call 2:  Pilot Studies on Preventive Strategies
Recent results from epidemiological studies in aging suggest that preventive strategies may modify both the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases and of symptom progression. However, it is not yet known whether these findings can be translated into efficacious preventive strategies that specifically target healthy persons, at risk populations or early stage patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, more research is needed to develop proof-of-concept for the design of prevention trials aimed to investigate the effect of complex interventions. JPND is launching this call for proposals in order to encourage interdisciplinary “pilot” studies for the design of preventive strategies related to neurodegenerative diseases.

JPND Countries Participating in this call:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey

Note:
Both calls are two-step, with a first stage (pre-proposal submission) deadline of February 18th (Cross-Disease Analysis) and February 20th (Preventive Strategies), 2014, respectively.   

For these calls, JPND is piloting an online partnering tool to assist potential applicants to the currently open calls, in their search for partners and formation of consortia.  It is believed that this tool will especially benefit early-career researchers and research groups not normally included in established consortia.

More information on the calls is available at: http://www.neurodegenerationresearch.eu/initiatives/annual-calls-for-proposals/open-calls/

Media enquiries should be directed to:
Derick Mitchelldmitchell@hrb.ie+353 1 2345103

A drug that acts like a growth-promoting protein in the brain reduces degeneration and motor deficits associated with Huntington’s disease in two mouse models of the disorder.

Previous studies of people with Huntington’s disease point to a link between low levels of a neurotrophin called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and symptoms of the disorder.

In the current study, which appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, Frank Longo, MD, PhD, and others at Stanford University, tested LM22A-4, a drug that specifically binds to and activates the BDNF receptor TrkB on nerve cells, in mice that model the disorder. They found LM22A-4 reduces abnormal protein accumulation, delays nerve cell degeneration, and improves motor skills in the animals.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that protecting or boosting neurotrophins – the molecules that support the survival and function of nerve cells – may slow the progression of Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

JPND has launched two calls for proposals aimed at encouraging research teams across Europe to investigate the cross-disease pathways in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and to identify new, innovative preventive strategies for these debilitating conditions.

‘Neurodegenerative Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are a global health, economic and social emergency with numbers affected expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050’ according to Professor Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board.  

‘With this in mind, JPND-participating countries have identified two further areas of greatest need for targeted investment in order to improve understanding of the underlying links between different diseases, and to encourage new ideas on preventive strategies’.

Professor Amouyel added ‘This investment is part of a series of JPND funding initiatives, aimed at addressing priority areas identified in our European Research Strategy.  This year’s calls will see over 23 million euro made available to applicants from 18 different countries’.

According to Professor Thomas Gasser, University of Tübingen and Chair of the JPND Scientific Advisory Board,  ‘Neurodegenerative diseases currently cannot be cured, prevented, or even substantially slowed. In order to tackle these diseases together, we need greater thinking across traditional clinical boundaries and new, innovative ideas aimed at preventing disease development and progression in healthy, at-risk and early-stage populations. These calls aim to harness the necessary expertise across Europe and globally to address these needs in the fight against these diseases’. 

The following neurodegenerative diseases are included for both calls:

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Parkinson’s disease and PD-related disorders
  • Prion disease
  • Motor neurone diseases 
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

Call 1: Cross-Disease Analysis of Pathways
There is clinical, genetic and biochemical evidence that similar molecular pathways are relevant in different neurodegenerative and other chronic diseases. Therefore, clinical phenotypes alone seem insufficient to provide an understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved, and to be the sole basis for prognosis and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.   This call is for multidisciplinary proposals (e.g. combining fundamental, pre-clinical and/or clinical research with computational approaches) to perform network analyses in different neurodegenerative and other chronic diseases to elucidate the underlying mechanisms involved.  The combined analysis of diseases across traditional clinical boundaries may lead to a re-definition of clinical phenotypes and new approaches in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

JPND Countries Participating in this call: 
Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Turkey

Call 2:  Pilot Studies on Preventive Strategies
Recent results from epidemiological studies in aging suggest that preventive strategies may modify both the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases and of symptom progression. However, it is not yet known whether these findings can be translated into efficacious preventive strategies that specifically target healthy persons, at risk populations or early stage patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, more research is needed to develop proof-of-concept for the design of prevention trials aimed to investigate the effect of complex interventions. JPND is launching this call for proposals in order to encourage interdisciplinary “pilot” studies for the design of preventive strategies related to neurodegenerative diseases.

JPND Countries Participating in this call:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey

Note:
Both calls are two-step, with a first stage (pre-proposal submission) deadline of February 18th (Cross-Disease Analysis) and February 20th (Preventive Strategies), 2014, respectively.   

For these calls, JPND is piloting an online partnering tool to assist potential applicants to the currently open calls, in their search for partners and formation of consortia.  It is believed that this tool will especially benefit early-career researchers and research groups not normally included in established consortia.

More information on the calls is available at: http://www.neurodegenerationresearch.eu/initiatives/annual-calls-for-proposals/open-calls/

Media enquiries should be directed to:
Derick Mitchelldmitchell@hrb.ie+353 1 2345103