Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have received an immense amount of additional funding from the National Institute on Aging to assist them on the first large-scale clinical trial to study Alzheimer's disease that is underway. This clinical trial, called the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) will work with people who have dominantly inherited forms of Alzheimer's to identify new drugs that can slow the onset of the disease, or stop it altogether.
Beginning with $5.5 million in funding this year, the trial will continue to receive funding from the NIH over the next five years to total $26 million. The National Institute of Aging has been supporting this research since 2012, when the project began. This new funding will allow the trial to add an additional 300-400 participants to the study, as well as assist the research team in adding new drugs to the study. The trial is being run in locations in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia, and this funding will help add 10-15 more locations.
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia)
Dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease generally affects people in their 30s to 50s, and gets progressively worse as time goes on. People with Alzheimer's have trouble with their memory, thinking and behavior. Compared to late-onset Alzheimer's disease in which the gene Apoe4 plays a role in someone getting Alzheimer's but does not guarantee the disease to occur, dominantly inherited Alzheimer's is nearly certain for people who have one copy of a critical gene mutation.
Previous studies have allowed researchers to see how the brain changes before it becomes affected by Alzheimer's disease. Currently, two different treatments are being used on patients of the DIAN-TU trial to see how the drugs they are being given are working to slow or stop the progression of Alzheimer's, and a third drug is in the process of being created. The initial stage of the trial is watching how the drugs are behaving in the patients to see if they are having the desired effect, while the next stage will be for researchers to see if these drugs have the ability to stop or slow the disease in the long-run. If the trial appears to be revealing the desired results, there should be no reason to stop the trial early.
Randall Bateman, MD from the Washington University School of Medicine explained that "as long as we have a treatment that appears to be safely doing what it’s designed to do, we can continue to treat and monitor DIAN-TU trial participants.”
Washington University is a top-ranked institution in terms of the amount of funding it receives each year:
- 2012 Life Science R&D Expenditures: 11th Ranked = $625,450,000.
- 2013 NIH Funding: 15th Ranked = $321,046,726.
- Researchers at Washington University, St. Louis are leading a $32 million, multi-institutional campaign to harness a newly recognized cellular defense against infection.
- The NIH awarded two five-year grants totaling $26 million to leukemia researchers and physicians at WU School of Medicine’s Siteman Cancer Center. The funding benefits the center’s ongoing research to identify genetic changes underlying the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia, as well as a program focused on bringing new investigational treatments into clinical trials.
A researcher learns about new products and technologies available at the 2014 15th annual BRPF event at WUSTL.
With all this funding, researchers at Washington university have the means to purchase many new lab products that will help with their research projects and clinical trials. Biotechnology Calendar Inc. produces an annual BioResearch Product Faire™ event at Washington University in St. Louis that is a great opportunity to market lab products to active life science researchers. We bring active researchers together with scientific supply companies where the researchers can find the best and newest products and technologies to further their work. For more information about the 16th annual BioResearch Product Faire™ event in March 2015, please visit the link below.