On 4 January 2023, the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) initiative launched a transnational call for large scale analysis of OMICS data for drug-target finding in neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating and largely untreatable conditions that are strongly linked with age. Worldwide, there are estimated to be 50 million people with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. This figure is expected to double every 20 years as the population ages. The total direct and informal care costs of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and related disorders are expected to surpass EUR 350 billion per year across the European Union (EU). Existing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are limited and mainly address the symptoms rather than the cause or the progressive course. With this in mind, the JPND has identified a pressing need for investment aimed at enabling research projects on large scale analysis of Omics data for drug-target finding in neurodegenerative diseases. Despite several remarkable achievements and advances in technology made during the past years, the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases remains elusive.
Recent studies show that diseases are complex and multifactorial, presenting hurdles to discover novel therapies. Access to current data and biomaterials from animal and cellular models and patients and targeted acquisition of new data opens the opportunity to explore changes at epigenetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic levels in a more comprehensive way. The data obtained from multi-omics studies analysed with the methods of systems biology can further elucidate the connection between the contributing factors and disease pathophysiology. The identified cellular changes from the multi-omics studies may be translated to animal and cellular models and to the human situation to study the disease mechanisms. This will permit novel strategies for validation of clinical therapeutic approaches. The JPND is therefore launching this joint transnational call with the aim of improving the understanding of the complex and multifactorial pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases through multi-OMICS and Big Data approaches designed to find new drug targets and target biomarkers for the development of tailored and personalised treatment approaches.
This transnational call invites proposals for ambitious, innovative, multi-disciplinary and multi-national collaborative research projects that seek to improve the understanding of the complex and multifactorial pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases by applying multi-OMICs and Big data approaches to generate useful information for the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and drug discovery of neurodegenerative diseases. The total made available for this call is about EUR 16.5 million. The pre-proposal submission deadline is 7 March 2023, via the electronic submission tool. For more information about the call, see: