OPDC's George Tofaris heads up new consortium to investigate aggregated proteins in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) launched IMPRiND in March 2017, an innovative research project that is devoted to investigating whether mechanisms of propagation of aggregated proteins between cells could enable novel therapeutic approaches in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are age-related neurodegenerative disorders without cure. They are characterised by the progressive loss of brain cells often along interconnected networks.
Recent evidence suggests that the progressive march of pathological lesions may be due to the release and uptake of specific aggregated proteins which act as templates for further aggregation once inside cells. A complete understanding of such events and the underpinning cellular mechanisms is still lacking.
"We are seeking to understand how aggregated proteins are handled once inside brain cells and how they are passaged from cell to cell. To this end, we will work collaboratively to develop standardised tools and assays to establish disease-relevant mechanisms that could enable future therapies against disease progression in this area of unmet need."- Dr George Tofaris, Project Coordinator
IMPRiND aims to fill this knowledge gap and develop tools and assays for targeting these pathways to pave the way for novel therapeutics that could delay the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. IMPRiND has a total budget of 11.4 million Euros. It is supported by the IMI with 4.7 million Euros, by industrial partners with 6.4 million Euros and 0.3 million Euros from the Swiss Federation. The project runs over four years and will end on 31st February 2021.