Clinical biomarkers have been critical to achieving major breakthroughs in a range of deadly diseases. After launching an Innovation Ecosystem largely focused on therapeutic targets, we turned our attention to this area in 2017.
ALS has no reliable biomarkers to diagnose it early, track its progression or group patients with similar forms of the disease.
Target ALS brought together a first-of-its-kind collaboration – 10 pharma/biotech companies, four foundations and over 20 academic experts – to identify, validate, and further develop promising biomarker candidates on a pre-competitive basis.
Biomarkers can take many forms. Our collaboration’s first step was to focus on proteins in either cerebrospinal fluid (liquid that bathes the spinal cord and brain) or blood. We want to know how they change during the course of the disease or in different patients to be ready to measure them when we do clinical trials.
In a historic first, the data as well as any new research tools generated from this new initiative will be shared with the ALS research community worldwide immediately – enabling the field to benefit from the work.