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NDR grants $12.5M to Northwestern

(Reposted from 8/20/2021)

Neurodegenerative Disease Research Inc. is pleased to announce $12.5 million funding to benefit amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. The five year program will generate data from ALS patients and integrate a complete data analysis under the direction of Teepu Siddique, MD, DSc (hc), FAAN, Professor, Departments of Neurology, Cell and Developmental Biology and Pathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, where he holds the inaugural Les Turner ALS Foundation/ Herbert C. Wenske Foundation chair.

This funding supports development of a multi-modal program that will made available to researchers as the ALS Data Commons. The collaborative ALS patient data analysis from familial and sporadic cases will be conducted at several institutions using highly advanced equipment, techniques, and novel approaches to the intractable problem of ALS. The analysis will include whole genome transcriptomics and meta genomics. After raw data and bioinformatics processing, multimodal profiling will correlate information between the modules and use deep learning to predict the basic molecular pathology of ALS. This will allow ALS researchers worldwide to access the Commons and generate novel hypotheses.

The work done by Dr Siddique over decades sets this project apart from other programs. The hope is that novel analyses and a globally shared platform will benefit ALS patients by speeding discovery.

Neurodegenerative Disease Research Inc. is a not for profit organization with a mission to fund ALS research that can prevent clinical decline and extend the quality of life for ALS patients. Since its organization in early 2020, NDR selected multinational projects for funding that have significant impact to ALS patients. These areas are disease detection and biomarker discovery, investigating drug synergy, drug screening and drug repurposing. More basic projects include those investigating axon transport, hypermetabolism, and neuroinflammation. The $6.5 million in 2020-2021 funding contributed to the field of ALS with two published papers, 17 pending papers, six grant proposals, and two clinical trials. The works impact ALS research by developing viral drug delivery for proteasome therapy, developing cell based assays for drug efficacy testing, and producing over 150 neuroprotein antibody probes identified in ALS. The direct benefits to ALS patients are five treatments that are in various stages of clinical development. The ALS Data Commons is our largest project, and we expect it to have the great impact to ALS in less than 5 years.

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