The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and Target ALS announce a new partnership to identify and develop biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD).

Discovery and validation of biomarkers will help researchers diagnose these diseases earlier, track their progression reliably and efficiently assess the effects of new drugs, leading to more efficient clinical trials.

The partnership, which includes financial support from the ADDF’s Diagnostics Accelerator – a global research effort initiated by ADDF Co-Founder Leonard A. Lauder and Bill Gates with support from other leading philanthropists to fast-track the development of biomarkers and diagnostic tools – will create new funding opportunities for approximately six to ten biomarker-focused research projects over the next two years. A request for proposals will be issued on January 5, 2022.

Research has shown that neurodegenerative diseases like AD, ALS, and FTD are heterogeneous in nature at the clinical, neuropathological, and genetic levels, but they also share common features. Project funding established through this new partnership will advance the long-standing search for biomarkers in each of these diseases as well as provide insights into their heterogeneity.

“While each neurodegenerative disease is different, they also share overlapping genetics, molecular mechanisms and pathways that scientists can investigate to advance new effective treatments and reliable biomarkers. The key is to encourage cross-pollination of ideas and engagement of experts across research communities, which is what we are fostering by establishing funding opportunities through this innovative partnership.”

— Target ALS CEO Manish Raisinghani, PhD, MBBS

“The ADDF is excited to embark on this new partnership with Target ALS as collaboration is essential in expanding our scientific knowledge of all neurodegenerative diseases so we can deliver effective treatments for patients and families with ALS, Alzheimer’s and other related dementias. We are committed to investing in and developing novel biomarkers that will provide us with accessible, inexpensive and accurate ways to diagnose patients earlier than ever before and pave the way for new and innovative therapies.”

— Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF

The Target ALS and ADDF partnership will consider proposals for novel peripheral (ie, blood and other body fluids) and digital biomarkers at all stages of development, from proof-of-concept pilot studies through to validation with a substantial body of human data and commercialization stages. Candidate biomarkers should correspond with disease pathophysiology—targeting at least one of the many underlying biological factors that contribute to neurodegenerative diseases that are in or likely to be in clinical phase testing soon.

[Source(s): Target ALS Foundation, PRWeb]