Project: Preparing for therapies in autosomal recessive ataxias

Autosomal-recessive cerebellar ataxias (ARCAs) define a genetically heterogeneous group of rare degenerative disorders characterized by progressive cerebellar degeneration. Recent high-throughput sequencing techniques have allowed to identify an expanding number of novel ARCA genes, many identified by researchers from this consortium. However, the challenge is now to translate this genetic progress into preparing successful treatment trials. PREPARE will collate the complementary expertise from many ARCA centres worldwide to facilitate the crucial translational steps from genetic fingerprinting to preclinical trials and trial ready cohorts. To set this stage, it will establish a “translational pipeline” that will be applicable to several rare ARCAs alike. A shared prospective longitudinal registry will allow to aggregate ARCA cohorts of sufficient size and establish serial natural history data needed to launch treatment trials. Genetically still undefined ARCA patients will be screened by exome sequencing, thus maximizing the number of patients eligible for treatment trials and including definition of novel ARCA syndromes. To support causality of the novel genes and identify pathway nodes susceptible to drug compounds, genetic fly models will be created. Trial outcome measures will be established by an international collaborative process, capturing complex ARCA phenotypes and including extensive „3-omics“ biomarker screening. First preclinical trial protocols applicable to many ARCA types will be implemented in transgenic ARCA mice, including testing of drug compounds.

Duration 01/01/2016 - 01/12/2018
Network E-Rare-3
Call E-Rare-3 JTC 2015

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Tübingen, Germany Coordinator Germany
2 Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre & Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour Partner Netherlands
3 Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, INSERM / Paris VI University 975 Partner France
4 Institut de Genetique et de Biologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC) Partner France
5 Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University Partner Canada
6 IRCCS Fondazione Stella Maris Partner Italy
7 Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, University Istanbul Partner Türkiye
8 Institute of Neurology, UCL, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom; Observer United Kingdom