We are pleased to announce the first patient has been screened and imaged for the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping (DFP) Feasibility study for the MRC Dementias Platform UK.
On 28th October 2014 IXICO attended the launch of the MRC Dementias Platform UK. Following this successful launch we have reached a milestone with the beginning of the imaging phase of the NIHR and MRC feasibility study. This is a jointly funded £600,000 study for intensive phenotyping of 24 pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease patients.*
IXICO’s involvement with this includes data management and site qualification for MR imaging, utilising the very extensive experience with complex and multi-centre commercial and non-commercial trials.
NIHR-MRC Dementia DFP Feasibility Study for DPUK
The study aims to identify biomarkers that change over periods of months, rather than years. It is led by NIHR Dementias Translational Research Collaboration director Professor Simon Lovestone (University of Oxford), and involves industry collaboration. The study will use an extensive range of MR imaging and cognitive testing along with additional clinical testing and biomarkers, at multiple frequent intervals over the course of six months. The goal is that these biomarkers could be used in a range of follow-on trials.*
The Importance of Such Studies
Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the most urgent unmet global medical needs. There are currently no disease modifying therapeutics available to patients and as people are living longer, the number of people with dementia on a global scale will increase. As of 2013, there were an estimated 44.4 million people with dementia worldwide. This number will increase to an estimated 75.6 million in 2030, and 135.5 million in 2050. Against this backdrop, there is an increasing focus on collaboration between academia, industry and government aimed at harnessing the right expertise and resources in order to increase our ability to predict who is at risk, design better clinical trials, and target new ways to slow and ultimately prevent this disease. Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) is one such effort that brings together broad expertise in a coordinated multi-disciplinary activity between centres of excellence across the UK and internationally.
In December 2013 the UK government hosted a summit as part of the G8 to discuss the looming crisis for health care systems posed by dementia, and more importantly, to establish plans to ease this crisis. Of all possible alleviation approaches the one with most sustainable outcomes would be an intervention for prevention to assist in reducing the rise of dementia. For neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease the most promising of these is secondary prevention in the pre-clinical phase. The challenge, then, is to identify both stratification markers and markers of change in pre-clinical or very early disease which can be used in experimental medicine. Such markers would enable decision-making on putative therapeutics and facilitate the critical path prior to efficacy trials that will continue to use progression to dementia and other clinically relevant end points for the future. This DFP feasibility study will add substantial significance by providing run-in and stratification data enabling effective study recruitment.
Professor John Gallacher, Director of the Dementias Platform UK:
“If we can delay the onset of dementia by just a few years, we can halve the number of people who die from the disease. By bringing together the best scientific minds to discover the causes of these terrible diseases, we can and will beat them.”
MRC Dementias Platform UK
The Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) is a multi-million pound public-private partnership, developed by the Medical Research Council, to accelerate progress in, and open up, dementias research. DPUK’s aims are:
Improved treatment and ultimately
Ultimately prevention of dementias
DPUK is unparalleled in its approach, creating the world’s largest study group for use in dementias research, pulling together two million well-characterised participants from across a number of existing studies.
This unique collaboration is led by Professor John Gallacher from Cardiff University and involves ten universities from across the UK (Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Imperial College London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Swansea and UCL) as well as Industry partners (currently Araclon Biotech, MedImmune/AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Ixico, Janssen Research & Development and SomaLogic).
DPUK will allow researchers to examine dementia in a whole new way, investigating not just what is going wrong in the brain, but at the brain in the context of the whole body. The Platform will look at the causes of dementia across a range of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone Disease.