Under the second CoEN funding call, £2.6m has been awarded for 5 “Pathfinder” projects, constituting innovative and creative proof of principle studies which, if successful, will provide a step change in neurodegeneration research.
The awarded projects take a ‘high risk, high pay-off’ approach to identify and validate new potential drugs and develop innovative therapeutic approaches for Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. These projects bring together a wealth of resources and expertise from a number of research centres in different countries to tackle scientific questions that are vital to advancement within the field.
To ensure momentum, successful “pathfinders” will have the potential, in subsequent phases of the initiative, to win substantial follow-on funding that will help take the proof of principle studies to the next stage where they can have wider scientific and clinical impact.
The funded projects are:
• Targeting glucocerebrosidase for disease-modifying treatments in Parkinson’s disease
• Anthony H.V. Schapira (UK), David Park (Canada), Donato Di Monte (Germany) and Fabio Blandini (Italy)
• WNT signaling: biomarker and target evaluation in Alzheimer’s disease
• Antonio Cuadrado (Spain), James Woodgett (Canada) and Simon Lovestone (UK)
• Mechanisms of amyloid-β clearance in models of vascular cognitive impairment and mixed dementia
• Gabor Petzold (Germany) and Danica Stanimirovic (Canada)
• In vivo neuronal cell reprogramming for a new regenerative approach in Parkinson’s disease
• Vania Broccoli (Italy), Alexander Dityatev (Germany) and Josè Luis Lanciego (Spain)
• microRNA as novel therapeutic targets and disease biomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease, Frontotemporal dementia and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (NEURO-MIR)
• Jochen Prehn (Ireland), Andre Fischer (Germany), Pierre Lau (Flanders), Jose Lucas (Spain)
CoEN is an international initiative involving research funders in the UK (Medical Research Council), Canada (Canadian Institutes of Health Research), Germany (DZNE), Belgium (Flanders, VIB), Ireland (Science Foundation Ireland and Heath Research Board Ireland), Italy (Ministry of Health), Slovakia (Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport), and Spain (ISCIII). The aim of the initiative is to encourage collaborative research between recognised national centres of excellence in neurodegeneration research.