Call for increased research into drug targets for neurodegenerative conditions

Global update

Author: Sophie ParrottPublished: 2 February 2023

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Is there a need for increased research around potential drug targets in Parkinson’s? Find out about a call initiated for large-scale analysis of Omics data to identify potential treatment avenues for neurodegenerative conditions

Neurodegenerative conditions, characterised by the death or damage of nervous system cells, affect millions of people around the globe. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are common examples of these conditions, for which current treatments mainly focus on symptom management rather than cause or progression – and are estimated to cost more than €350 billion annually across the European Union (EU).

So, earlier this year, the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), a global research initiative set up to tackle the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases, identified a need for greater investment into the research of potential drug targets for these conditions.

As reported by the JPND, the organisation launched a multinational call for “large-scale analysis of Omics data for drug-target finding in neurodegenerative diseases”. ‘Omics’ refers to the various disciplines in biology whose names end in the suffix -omics, such as genomics.

The research call aims to help improve understanding of “the complex and multifactorial pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases” by reviewing extensive, multinational data sets. JPND invites researchers worldwide to propose “ambitious, innovative, multidisciplinary and multinational collaborative research projects” to tackle this challenge.

A variety of organisations, including some based in Austria, Luxembourg and Israel, have already agreed to help fund this call for transnational research projects. The total available to support the initiative is said to be €16.5 million.

The hope is that increased research may help to uncover new drug targets and biomarkers, which may, in turn, support the development of more personalised treatment methods for those living with neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s.

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