The Multi-Partner Consortium to Expand Dementia Research in Latin America (ReDLat) is pleased to announce a new $250,000 research grant funded by Alector, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering immuno-neurology, that will expand the ReDLat clinical research protocol.
With this funding, the ReDLat team will be able to perform clinical screening for families where multiple members are diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is the most common form of dementia in people under age 60 and can be caused by a genetic mutation passed down between generations.
The team aims to enroll 72 individuals from these families in the study in 2021. This screening will allow the researchers to confirm if participants have a genetically inherited cause of FTD. This knowledge will guide which types of treatments could be effective in that particular family. It may also bring to light new mutations that have not yet been studied.
The project will be overseen by investigators at each ReDLat site with leadership from Agustín Ibáñez, Ph.D. and Jennifer Yokoyama, Ph.D., two of the consortium’s Principal Investigators. Dr. Ibáñez emphasized the importance of this work, stating, “understanding gene and environmental interactions requires us to assess understudied populations. Assessing underrepresented populations can unveil currently unexplained genetic influences. Most genetic research in dementia does not include Latin American populations where there are new and unique genetic variants resulting from population mixing. This initiative will expand the core ReDLat studies to identify potential new genetic contributions of large families across the region.”
This study has the potential to bring a large number of individuals into the clinical trials network, a critical step for developing and testing treatments for FTD. “We are delighted by Alector’s commitment to support the international families impacted by frontotemporal dementia,” shared Dr. Yokoyama. “By working together with these families and supporting their journeys, we hope to expedite discovery of effective treatments for this devastating class of disorders.”
“We applaud the important work that ReDLat has underway and we share in their commitment to advancing knowledge and treatment for FTD,” said Robert Paul, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of Alector. “This research represents a unique opportunity to uncover new insights into the interplay between genetic and environmental influences in this form of dementia and we are pleased to provide our support.”
Launched in 2019, ReDLat brings together researchers from across Latin American and the US to study 4,200 participants enrolled across seven countries. The primary aim of ReDLat is to identify the unique genetic and social determinants of health/socio-economic status factors that drive Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia presentation in Latin America relative to the US, including risk factors, cognitive profiles, and brain imaging.
Alector is a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering immuno-neurology, a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The Company is developing a broad portfolio of innate immune system programs, designed to functionally repair genetic mutations that cause dysfunction of the brain’s immune system and enable the rejuvenated immune cells to counteract emerging brain pathologies. Immunoneurology targets immune dysfunction as a root cause of multiple pathologies that are drivers of degenerative brain disorders. The Company’s immuno-neurology product candidates are supported by biomarkers and target genetically defined patient populations in frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This scientific approach is also the basis for the Company’s immuno-oncology programs. Alector is headquartered in South San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit www.alector.com.