EU network seeks cures for rare muscle diseases

Leading European researchers and clinicians have joined forces in a newly launched Network of Excellence (NoE) on finding new treatments for rare neuromuscular diseases (NMD), such as muscular dystrophies and spinal muscular atrophy.

Dubbed TREAT-NMD (Translational research in Europe - assessment and treatment of neuromuscular), the five-year network is the first of its kind in Europe, bringing together a total of 21 partner organisations from 11 countries. They include charities and companies that will work alongside doctors and researchers in the field.

Neuromuscular diseases (NMD) is a very broad term that encompasses many inherited or acquired diseases and ailments that affect the muscles or their nervous control. It is estimated that come 200,000 people suffer in Europe from these conditions, many of which can result in long-term paralysis or disability. Some forms of NMD can even be deadly, like Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which is the most common genetic cause of childhood fatality. No cure as yet has been found for SMA.

TREAT-NMD aims to develop best practice in all areas of NMD research and development, in particular by ensuring that the route of a drug candidate from the laboratory bench to an approved medicine is as efficient as possible. To do so, the network is establishing close links with pharmaceutical companies.

The network will also develop a clinical trials coordination centre in Germany, which will provide advice on how to conduct trials, as well as offer training to those participating in the network.

According to Professor Volker Straub, professor for NMDs at Newcastle University and the coordinator of TREAT-NMD, researchers, doctors and patients alike have long awaited the launch of the network. 'This is something that should have been established 10 or 20 years ago, but we were not ready and we did not have the cutting-edge therapies,' Professor Straub told the BBC. He noted that the clinical trials would not have been possible before this network, since they need to be multi-national in order to have sufficient patient numbers.

For further information, please visit:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ihg/about/muscle

Copyright ©European Communities, 2006
Neither the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, nor any person acting on its behalf, is responsible for the use, which might be made of the attached information. The attached information is drawn from the Community R&D Information Service (CORDIS). The CORDIS services are carried on the CORDIS Host in Luxembourg - http://cordis.europa.eu. Access to CORDIS is currently available free-of-charge.

Most Popular Now

Open Call HORIZON-MISS-2022-CANCER-01-04…

The overall goal of the Mission on Cancer[1] and the Europe's Beating Cancer Plan[2] includes a better quality of life for patients and their families living with, and after, cancer. Project...

Researchers Use AI to Predict Cancer Ris…

An artificial intelligence (AI) tool helps doctors predict the cancer risk in lung nodules seen on CT, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology. Pulmonary nodules appear as...

Insilico Medicine Raises $60 Million in …

Insilico Medicine, a clinical-stage end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company, announced today that it has completed a $60 million Series D financing from a syndicate of global investors with...

Speech Analysis App Predicts Worsening H…

A voice analysis app used by heart failure patients at home recognises fluid in the lungs three weeks before an unplanned hospitalisation or escalation in outpatient drug treatment. The late...

Siemens Healthineers and Penta Hospitals…

Penta Hospitals International, the largest multi-national hospital chain in Central and Eastern Europe, agreed a strategic partnership with Siemens Healthineers valued at over 30 million euros. Penta Hospitals International operates...

Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy Prove…

Both telemedicine and community screening for diabetic retinopathy (DR) in rural and urban settings are cost-effective in China, and telemedicine screening programs are more cost-effective, according to a study led...

KTU Researchers Investigate the Links Be…

In recent years Alzheimer's disease has been on the rise throughout the world and is rarely diagnosed at an early stage when it can still be effectively controlled. Using artificial...

Researchers Develop Smartphone-Powered M…

A University of Minnesota Twin Cities research team has developed a new microfluidic chip for diagnosing diseases that uses a minimal number of components and can be powered wirelessly by...

Philips' Future Health Index 2022 Report…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the publication of its Future Health Index (FHI) 2022 report: 'Healthcare hits reset: Priorities shift as...

App Detecting Jaundice in Babies a Succe…

A smartphone app that identifies severe jaundice in newborn babies by scanning their eyes could be a life-saver in areas that lack access to expensive screening devices, suggests a study...

InterSystems Wins Data Driven Product of…

InterSystems, a provider of next-generation solutions for enterprise digital transformation to help customers solve the most critical data challenges, has announced it received the prestigious Data Driven Product of the...