ADAPTED, a genetic research European project
Fundació ACE has been chosen by the European consortium Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to lead ADAPTED (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.