Precision ALS is a €10 million research programme involving researchers at the SFI Research Centres ADAPT and FutureNeuro along with the TRICALS Consortium, Europe’s largest ALS research initiative. National and International industry partners and charities including patient organisations are also actively participating.
Precision ALS will provide an innovative and interactive platform for all clinical research in ALS across Europe, that will then harness artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse large amounts of data. The programme cements Ireland’s world leadership position in MND research and Artificial Intelligence, and will generate scores of new jobs in clinical and data science research, new technologies and drug development for Ireland.
ALS/MND causes progressive cause decline in movement, cognition and behaviour. Although uniformly fatal, life expectancy can vary from 3 months to many years from first symptom, and there are no effective treatments. Irish researchers, along with their European collaborations in ALS/MND, have shown that the disease is caused by variable combinations of faulty genes that likely interact with lifestyle and environment. Using “big data analysis”, Precision ALS will provide the technology to improve our understanding how these factors impact the development of the disease. This in turn will inform which treatments will work for each individual, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
Precision ALS is a unique programme that brings together Clinicians, Computer Scientists, Information Engineers, Technologists, and Data Scientists. The researchers will work together with a number of companies including Biogen, Novartis, Takeda, IQVIA, Roche and Accenture to generate a sustainable precision medicine-based approach towards new drug development that will have many benefits including better clinical outcomes for patients and reducing the economic cost of these diseases.
On completion, Precision ALS will be a first-in-kind modular transferable pan-European ICT framework for ALS that can be easily adapted to other diseases that face similar precision medicine-related challenges.