EMPIR project develops clinical trial methods and presents a conference at PTB

Image showing Blood samples being analysed in a hospital
Analysing blood samples in a hospital-based clinical trial

New clinical trial will support the treatment of a rare genetic disorder and project conference will aid the dissemination of disease study results

Neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, affect over 6 million people in Europe alone. The EMPIR project ‘Role of metals and metal-containing biomolecules in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease’ (15HLT02, ReMiND) is developing new procedures to improve the measurement accuracy of already-established biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluids, as well as that of new blood-based biomarkers. By strengthening the accuracy of these key indicators of Alzheimer’s disease, the project results will ensure that diagnostic and blood-screening tests can be reliably delivered – helping clinicians to assess the onset of neurodegenerative disorders at critical, earlier stages.

Clinical trial for treatment of Wilson’s disease

Recently, some methods developed under the project have been utilised to underpin clinical trials. One ongoing clinical trial in particular is reviewing chemical binding-based therapies for treating Wilson’s disease - a rare genetic metabolic condition that leads to a build-up of copper in the liver and other tissues. This study has made use of two key methods developed under the EMPIR project; multi-elemental analysis and traceable quantification of copper-containing biomolecules. The results of this clinical trial will support the development of new, lifesaving therapies for the treatment of this severe genetic disorder.

‘ReMiND’ Conference at PTB in June 2019

In addition to the above, the project consortium organised a conference at PTB (Germany’s National Metrology Institute) in summer 2019, bringing together renowned experts across Europe on ‘Biomolecules in Neurodegenerative Diseases’. Several keynote speakers contributed to the event, in addition to a total of 28 attendees who actively participated with presentations and posters. The project consortium was able to successfully create a forum for the discussion of crucial topics; from the quantification of metals and biomolecules in biological matrices, to the importance of comparability in the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases.

The recently completed EMPIR project has contributed to significant improvements in biomarker accuracy. Project outcomes will help healthcare professionals around Europe to provide more efficient and reliable diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and other serious neurodegenerative conditions.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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