Capital award for UK DRI at King's College London

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London

Abstract

Alongside significant co-investment from King's College London, the expected outcome of this funding is to provide its associate director £2.5m for procurement of capital equipment supporting the new UK DRI in implementing its first scientific programmes (funding provided separately) and scaling up.
Together, the equipment and the new Maurice Whole Clinical Neuroscience building will provide the location for, in the initial stages of 3 programmes, and then capacity for its significant growth in number in subsequent years. The UK DRI as a whole will help to cement the UK’s world-leading position by also promoting innovate approaches and forging much closer collaboration and integration of on-going UK research efforts. The new institute has been established to lead the UK’s dementia research effort and forms a core part of achieving the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020.

Technical Summary

The aim of this award is to support King's College London with capital investment for setting-up of one of six UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) centres; in particular, the procurement of equipment.

At present, 3 programmes have been selected planned for the UK DRI at King's College London and with scientific and operational leadership provided by its associate director, Professor Chris Shaw. The project at King's College London will involve purchasing equipment to scale up and fill the UK DRI at King’s College London, to be located at new Maurice Whol Clinical Neuroscience building which could house up to 250 researchers. The location is ready to be occupied.

The approach of the institute as a whole, of which the UK DRI at King's College London forms a core part, is to amplify and enhance, not replace, current dementia research efforts in the UK. The UK DRI will help to cement the UK’s world-leading position by supplying vital new funding for research, coupled to promoting innovate approaches and forging much closer collaboration and integration of on-going UK research efforts.

There is a gap in our knowledge of how the healthy brain functions and what leads to its degeneration. The UK DRI will fill this crucial gap that exists at the start of the dementia research journey. It will study the healthy brain and neurodegeneration in order to build new knowledge and understanding that will lead to new treatments. It will also proactively connect to existing clinical and population-level dementia initiatives – for example as being undertaken by the MRC Dementias Platform UK and through the NIHR TRC-D – to catalyse a unique national and strategic approach to confronting the dementia challenge.

In particular, the present research at the UK DRI at King's College London plans to look at the earliest stages of fronto-temporal dementia and ALS, looking for common mechanisms across neurodegenerative diseases, including: misfolding and aggregation of TDP-43; RNA binding activity; nuclear pore protein transport Funding to these science programmes is provided separately.

Publications

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Al Khleifat A (2019) Telomere length is greater in ALS than in controls: a whole genome sequencing study. in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis & frontotemporal degeneration

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Bashford J (2019) SPiQE: An automated analytical tool for detecting and characterising fasciculations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. in Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

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Bashford J (2020) The evolving role of surface electromyography in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A systematic review. in Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

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Bashford J (2020) Preprocessing surface EMG data removes voluntary muscle activity and enhances SPiQE fasciculation analysis. in Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

 
Title Paintings about dementia 
Description Paintings depicting aspects of dementia and research to find a cure 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Inspiring people working in the field 
 
Description Chair of review of DZNE
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Improved diagnostics, research impact, drug trials and improved therapeutics
URL https://www.dzne.de/
 
Description Identification of compounds that enhance TDP43 clearance in ALS and FTD
Amount £462,000 (GBP)
Organisation Eli Lilly & Company Ltd 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 05/2020
 
Description Testing chaperone gene therapy in a mouse model of Motor Neuron Disease and Fronto-Temporal Dementia
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Peter Samuel Trustees 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Viral vector gene therapy for FTD and ALS: from constructs to clinical trials
Amount £2,012,076 (GBP)
Organisation UK Dementia Research Institute 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 08/2022
 
Title Adeno-associated viral vector manufacture 
Description Using AAVVectors to express genes in cultured cells and in mammals (mice, sheep) 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Able to present data for further funding 
 
Title High-Density Surface Electromyography 
Description Using high density surface electrodes to record fasciculations in patients with motor neuron disease and benign fasciculation syndrom as a potental predictor of disease course 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - human 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Multiple publications and sharing of methodology and tool on line 
URL https://spiqe.co.uk
 
Description Remote home assessment of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a multimodal integrative approach 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have developed a robust means of quantifying fasciculations n people with motor neuron disease and we linked this up with the Remote Disease monitoriting system developed by David Sharp at Imperial
Collaborator Contribution Integrated multimodal home monitoring system
Impact Just starting
Start Year 2020
 
Title Clinical Trial of antisense oligonucleotide drug targeting the C9orf72 mRNA given intrathecally 
Description Clinical Trial of antisense oligonucleotide drug targeting the C9orf72 mRNA given intrathecally 
Type Therapeutic Intervention - Drug
Current Stage Of Development Early clinical assessment
Year Development Stage Completed 2019
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Clinical Trial? Yes
Impact First in man trial of a drug targeting this genetic population 
URL https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03626012
 
Title SURFACE POTENTIAL QUANTIFICATION ENGINE 
Description Open to anyone 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Software available to other researchers and industry 
URL https://spiqe.co.uk/#
 
Company Name NEUROGENEUS LTD 
Description Designi and manufacture of gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders 
Year Established 2019 
Impact None yet as just formed
 
Description Graham Cocks' participation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact This involved guiding a group of MNDA donors through a tour of research undertaken here at the Wohl.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk at Dementia Discovery Fund Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation on opportunities for Gene Therapy in motor neuron disease and fronto-temporal dementia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://theddfund.com/
 
Description Talk to MND Association of New Zealand annual general meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Public Presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://mnd.org.nz/inaugural-mnd-new-zealand-research-conference/
 
Description Webinar on new therapies for Dementia Discovery Fund Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Panel discussion on gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://issuu.com/svhealthinvestors/docs/ddf_20forum_20booklet_202020_2134dff6b56939