The EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) will launch a new cohesive action with the European Commission – a call for “Multinational research projects on Personalised Medicine for Neurodegenerative Diseases”.
Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating and still largely untreatable conditions. They are characterised by a large variability in their origins, mechanisms and clinical expression. When searching for a medical solution, e.g. a treatment or an optimised approach for care, this large variability constitutes a major hurdle if not controlled. Indeed a treatment addressing one disease pathway may not be useful for all patients experiencing the relevant symptoms. Thus, one of the greatest challenges for treating neurodegenerative diseases is the deciphering of this variability.
JPND has chosen to focus in the area of Precision Medicine, which relates to the targeting of specific elements responsible for pathology in a given individual at a particular point in time. It is an emerging approach for disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment that takes into account individual variability in genes, biological/molecular characteristics together with environmental and lifestyle factors.
Recent years have seen major increases in the range and power of these technologies across the basic, clinical and patient-centred domains of JPND. This joint transnational call will further promote research aiming at the development of novel and the advanced use of existing cutting-edge brain imaging and brain stimulation technologies related to neurodegenerative diseases. Approaches must be translational and patient-centered.
The upcoming call will focus on the following research areas:
Imaging technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Position Emission Tomography or super-resolution microscopy and molecular imaging techniques have brought about a dramatic improvement in the understanding of the onset, development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. It is the aim to accelerate this progress and to fund research projects that focus on the development of novel imaging technologies or on improvements to the application of existing cutting-edge imaging technologies.
Brain stimulation techniques, such as Deep Brain Stimulation, have proven to directly affect the quality of life of patients. Other techniques, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation or Focused Ultrasound could have potential to offer new non-invasive treatments. It is the aim to fund research that will lead to new or improved applications of both invasive and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for the diagnosis and the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
For reference, the total made available for the 2019 Call was 30 MEUR (from all participating countries as well as the European Commission), with each country funding their own national participants in successful collaborative proposals, according to their national budget allocation.
The FNR has allocated 500,000 EUR for this Call, which is expected to fund 1 – 2 projects involving Luxembourg partners.
- The Luxembourg project partner needs to be eligible for FNR funding.
- Pre and full proposals must additionally be submitted to the FNR, along with the FNR INTER documents, no later than 5 working days after the JPND deadlines. This must be done via the FNR Grant Management System.
This is be a two-step call, expected to launch in early January 2020, with a pre-proposal deadline in March 2020.