Türkiye to join scientific research on ALS with three centers
Türkiye will participate in scientific studies on ALS disease in the world with the acceptance of its three centers to the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), announces Hande Özdinler, one of the prominent experts in the field.
Within the scope of the membership, clinical trials will be initiated in the country, said Özdinler, the head of the ALS Research Center of Northwestern University in the U.S.
The acceptance of membership of three centers from Türkiye to NEALS, which carries out scientific studies on ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) disease worldwide, was thanks to the efforts of two nongovernmental organizations named Turkish Neurological Society (TND) and the ALS-MNH Society, Özdinler said, adding that ALS patients in Türkiye will be able to be included in drug studies conducted in the world.
After reaching the institutions and doctors working in this field in Türkiye with the help of Alper Kaya, the head of the ALS-MNH Society, Özdinler paved the way for the centers to be accepted to the consortium.
“We are trying to bring NU-9, a compound we discovered during our studies which is promising for the treatment of the disease, to NEALS. We wanted Türkiye to be included,” the expert said.
If there are drugs for neurodegenerative diseases in the world, Türkiye will be able to access these drugs at the production price, according to Özdinler.
“The treatment of patients in Washington at their ALS center will be the same as that of patients in Türkiye,” the expert added.
Professors Yeşim Parman from Istanbul University, Piraye Oflazer from Koç University in Istanbul, Filiz Koç from the southern province of Adana’s Çukurova University, Hilmi Uysal from the southern province of Antalya’s Akdeniz University, and associate professor Aylin Yaman from the University of Health Sciences Antalya Training and Research Hospital will be the authorized doctors of the hospitals equipped to perform clinical trials in ALS and motor neuron diseases.
Özdinler has been developing cell-based and mechanism-focused drug discovery efforts for years to include the neurons that degenerate in drug discovery platforms and perform selection based on the mechanisms that are perturbed in patients.
The expert is also trying to find biomarkers, which inform about the timing and the extent of upper motor neuron loss in patients, while developing gene delivery approaches directly to the diseased upper motor neurons in the cortex in an effort to develop personalized and effective treatment strategies, especially for rare disease patients.
NEALS is an international group with over 130 member sites, including centers in Japan, Israel, Mexico, Canada, Australia and Italy, which carries out studies to translate scientific advances into new treatments for people with ALS and motor neuron disease.