This program supports research that will facilitate integration of alpha-synuclein seed amplification assays into clinical studies for the purposes of predicting prognosis, tracking disease progression and monitoring therapeutic response.
Given the role of alpha-synuclein (a-syn) in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's, it holds importance as a therapeutic target (with more than a dozen a-syn-focused drug programs in trials) and as a biomarker candidate for the disease.
Recent cerebral spinal fluid a-syn seed amplification assays (SAAs) have demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity to identify PD study participants. But optimization and more studies are warranted.
Applicants are encouraged to form teams and submit proposals that address one or more of the following key goals:
- Goal 1: Development of a scaled-up, reliable and rapid a-syn SAA as a research-use-only in vitro diagnostic (IVD) with validation package toward an eventual point-of-care IVD integrable into clinical trials with potential for commercial use.
- Goal 2: Modification of a-syn SAAs from the current binary (positive/negative) readouts to an analytically validated quantitative assay format that measures a-syn seed concentrations.
- Goal 3: Identification of the most sensitive, specific, reproducible, stage-appropriate biomatrix through comparative assessment of an a-syn SAA on a variety of biomatrices (e.g., CSF, skin, nasal mucosa, submandibular gland, etc.)
Projects to measure a-syn by non-SAA techniques or to measure other (non-synuclein) proteins are not eligible for funding.
Industry and academic scientists in and outside the United States are open to apply.
Watch a video on this funding program and our application and review processes.
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