ADAPTED project



For the first time, a Spanish entity coordinates simultaneously two European projects of the IMI initiative




  • The Catalan entity will coordinate ADAPTED, a European research project with 7 million euros to study a gene.
  • The European consortium IMI for drug innovation once again entrusts the Spanish site with the coordination of another pioneering research project.
  • The aim of the research is to get to know the behavior of the APOE gene in the onset of Alzheimer's, a factor that has received little attention.

Fundació ACE - Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment & Research Center, specializing in the diagnosis, research, treatment and education of people with cognitive impairment and dementia, has been chosen by the European consortium Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to lead ADAPTED research (Alzheimer's Disease Apolipoprotein Pathology for Treatment Elucidation and Development).

In the absence of pharmacological treatment that slow the progress of the disease, ADAPTED opens a new line of research on the origin of Alzheimer's, whose object of study pursues a systematic approach to APOE as a possible target to treat. The APOE gene is a known risk factor for the disease, but has received less research attention so far than other targets.

In particular, the behavior of the APOE gene in the onset of Alzheimer's disease is unknown, since this gene is involved in a greater propensity to contract the disease. This lack of understanding of its functioning has meant that, until now, this gene has been largely ignored in the search for treatments.

With an endowment of 7 million euros, this study extends the traditional lines of research on Alzheimer's. It aims to identify how APOE increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and, in this way, pretends to enable the development of new medicines.

With ADAPTED, Fundació ACE becomes the first Spanish entity chosen to coordinate, at the same time, two European research projects. It should be remembered that, just a week ago, the IMI made public the election of this same entity to coordinate another European study whose purpose is the identification of effective mechanisms for the early detection of Alzheimer (MOPEAD).

Gene present in 45% of cases

The APOE gene is present in more than 45% of cases of Alzheimer's disease and for this reason, according to Dr. Agustín Ruiz, CSO of Fundació ACE, "understanding the role of APOE is an important scientific challenge." Ruiz points out that "if the project succeeds, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease will enter a completely new era of drug and therapy identification."

Currently, through a DNA analysis, you can observe the behavior of this gene and identify the percentage of risk that the person has to suffer from Alzheimer's. For example, an individual with two copies of the epsilon 2 allele of the gene would have a 6% chance of developing the disease. However, someone with two copies of another variant of the gene (the epsilon 4 allele) would have more than 50%. "

The Cajal Institute, CNB (National Center for Biotechnology), EMC (Erasmus Medical Center), UL (Leiden University), Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology & Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie are also participating in the ADAPTED project to be run by Fundació ACE. Also, the University of Bonn, the University of Cologne (UKK), CAEBi (Andalusian Center for Bioinformatics Studies), DCP (Dundee Cell Products Limited), KIE (Kite Innovation Europe), MIM (Mimetas BV) as well as pharmaceutical laboratories ABBVIE , BIOGEN and JANSSEN will participate in ADAPTED.

Continuity of research lines

Although the ADAPTED project represents a new scientific study scenario, Fundació ACE will continue with the lines of research explored to date.

Since its inception, the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein in the brain has been considered one of the causes of the onset of the disease; A thesis on which will continue working in the exploration of the protein, parallel to the genetic research that opens with the new study.

Public-private collaboration

The IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the EU and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), created in 2008 to boost pharmaceutical innovation in Europe and accelerate the development of More effective and safe medicines.

With a budget of 2 trillion euros, part of IMI's action is to support research projects that foster networks of industrial and academic experts.