Target ALS grant recipients to study neuron-derived exosomes as a biomarker platform for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Target ALS announced today the grantees receiving funding for new projects focused on ALS biomarker discovery and development, resulting from a call for proposals issued in the spring. In accordance with the requirements of the Target ALS grantmaking process, collaboration between academic investigators and the pharma/biotech industry was required to apply. This funding builds on $5 million in grants awarded to projects earlier this year, in collaboration with The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) targeting applicable treatments and biomarkers for both ALS and FTD.

Among other recipients were Erez Eitan (NeuroDex Inc.), Sabrina Paganoni (Massachusetts General Hospital), Jeff Rothstein (Johns Hopkins University)

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized lipid vesicles released by cells in all tissues and contain proteins and RNA cargo that reflect their cell of origin. Isolation of Neuron-Derived Extracellular vesicles (NDEs) from the blood is an innovative liquid biopsy option in neurology, with a high potential to generate novel diagnostic, prognostic, monitoring and pharmacodynamic biomarkers in ALS.

The partners to this consortium have already demonstrated that the protein cargo in the NDEs of sporadic ALS patients is different from controls and could potently be utilized for accurate diagnosis. The goals of this consortium are to: Expand and finalize the biomarker signature measured within isolated NDEs; provide a better resolution to the correlation between the NDEs’ cargo, postmortem brain and induced pluripotent stem cells derived neurons from the same individuals; and test the biomarker signature in a larger patient population.

Source – PRNewswire

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