The EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) initiative has issued a call for multinational research on large scale analysis of OMICS data for drug-target finding in neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating and largely untreatable conditions that are strongly linked with age. Worldwide, there are estimated to be 50 million people with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. This figure is expected to double every 20 years as the population ages.

 The total direct and informal care costs of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and related disorders are expected to surpass €350 billion ($380 billion) per year across the European Union. Existing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are limited and mainly address the symptoms rather than the cause or the progressive course. Because of this, JPND has identified a need for investment aimed at enabling research projects on large scale analysis of Omics data for drug-target finding in neurodegenerative diseases.

Despite several achievements and advances in technology over the past few years, the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases remains elusive. Recent studies show that diseases are complex and multifactorial, presenting barriers to discover novel therapies. 

Access to current data and biomaterials from animal and cellular models and patients and targeted acquisition of new data opens the opportunity to explore changes at epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic levels in a more comprehensive way. The data obtained from multi-omics studies analyzed with the methods of systems biology can shed more light on the connection between the contributing factors and disease pathophysiology. 

Cellular changes

The identified cellular changes from the multi-omics studies may be translated to animal and cellular models and to the human situation to study the disease mechanisms. This will permit novel strategies for validation of clinical therapeutic approaches.

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JPND is launching the joint transnational call and inviting proposals for ambitious, innovative, multi-disciplinary and multi-national collaborative research projects. These will seek to improve the understanding of the complex and multifactorial pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases by applying multi-OMICS and big data approaches to generate useful information for the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and drug discovery of neurodegenerative diseases.

The deadline for pre-proposals is 12:00h CET on March 7, 2023. More information and criteria is available here.