The success rate of clinical studies testing drugs for ALS has been disappointing. Promising findings from genetically modified animal models have proven difficult to translate to patients due to the complexity and variability of ALS in humans. TRICALS (Treatment Research Initiative to Cure ALS) therefore believes that a radical change in the direction of research is required.
The future must focus on providing effective clinical studies that are designed for subgroups of patients who share specific aspects of the disease. At this moment, however, less than 5% of patients with ALS are eligible to participate in clinical trials. Our goal is to change this, and to give every patient with ALS access to clinical trials, regardless of how long they have had ALS or the type of ALS they have. By doing so, we can accelerate the search for finding effective treatments for ALS patients.
Creating a highway to find a cure for ALS
How will we go about achieving our goal? We have divided our approach into 5 different research lanes, each forming a part of the “highway to new therapies”. Using this strategy we aim to:
- Identify different types of ALS by combining our datasets
- Develop new biomarkers that characterise the different types of ALS
- Improve the design of clinical trials
- Establish an international register for everyone with ALS to enable access them to easily access clinical trials, that can connect with a network of trial centres, pharmaceutical and biotech companies
- To develop new tools for the clinical assessment of patients
This roadmap will help to harness the energy, enthusiasm and creativity of top ALS researchers around the globe. Each participating TRICALS centre excels in at least one of these research lanes. By sharing our data, tools and resources that meet the common goal of finding effective therapies for ALS. By collaborating closely with patients and ALS foundations, we can increase the speed of research to bring effective therapies to patients as fast as possible.
The right drug, for the right patient, at the right time.