First Joint Programming funding initiative on use of biomarkers launched on May 13th, 2011.

Researchers working in the field of neurodegeneration research have a new opportunity to bring an unprecedented level of European coordination in their efforts to tackle major societal threats such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Speaking today in Istanbul, Turkey at the 8th Management Board meeting of the Joint Programming in Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) initiative, Professor Philippe Amouyel, INSERM, and Chair of the JPND, launched ‘The first major activity under the JPND initiative – a joint transnational call to support the optimisation of appropriate biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, and harmonisation of their use across Europe’.

Prof. Amouyel added ‘This collaboration will see over 14 million euro made available to researchers from 20 countries, where national agencies are contributing funding towards high quality research to address barriers to progress not readily funded through standard national research grants.’

‘This will be managed as one co-ordinated funding stream, with funding obtained from participating national agencies staying within borders for researchers in their respective countries, thus increasing coordination and reducing fragmentation’ he said.

According to Prof. Thomas Gasser, University of Tübingen and Chair of the JPND Scientific Advisory Board, ‘The availability of sensitive and specific biomarkers for the diagnosis and the monitoring of progression of neurodegenerative disorders, which are sufficiently robust to be used in large clinical trials is one of the greatest unmet needs in this field.’
Approaches to biomarker harmonisation for the following neurodegenerative diseases are included in the call:
• Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
• Parkinson’s disease and PD related disorders
• Prion disease
• Motor neurone diseases
• Huntington’s disease
• Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
• Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

More information on the grant call practicalities is available at

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Derick Mitchell[email protected]+353 1 2345103