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Translational Neuroscience: Toward New Therapies


Diester, I; Hefti, F; Mansuy, I M; Pascual-Leone, A; Robbins, T W; Rubin, L L; Sawa, A; Wernig, M; Dölen, G; Hyman, S E; Mucke, L; Nikolich, N; Sommer, B (2015). Translational Neuroscience: Toward New Therapies. In: Nikolich, Karoly; Hyman, Steven E. Translational Neuroscience: Toward New Therapies. Cambridge: MIT Press, 320.

Abstract

Classically, research into human disease tends to be done in a top- down or bottom- up manner, starting from symptoms or genes, respectively. While bottom-up approaches may work well in oncology, and might advance understanding of monogenic neuropsy- chiatric diseases, successful application for complex, multifactorial disorders is more difficult and has resulted in many translational failures. This chapter investigates the existing obstacles and explores options to overcome them. Complex diseases need to be dissected into measureable, manageable factors and investigated in a comparable, compatible assembly of model systems to test hypotheses, concepts, and ultimately drug candidates or other therapeutic interventions. While some of these factors might best be investigated top down, a bottom-up approach might be more effective for oth- ers. Both approaches may only be successful up to a specific point. Thus, the two must be linked and a bidirectional approach pursued. Inclusion of patients is essential as are behavioral readouts, since disease-associated dysfunctions or symptoms are often behavioral in nature. To connect models and humans, behavioral readouts need ide- ally to be linked to evolutionary conserved neural substrates. Some anchor points al- ready exist and new promising ones, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are emerging. Recent developments may speed up translation of research into clinical applications (e.g., faster drug screens in a patient-specific manner). When positioning different models, it is important to characterize their predictive power diligently, to em- phasize their scientific rigor, and to not overstate their application potential. Finally, to effect faster transition from research to clinical applications, organizational structures are needed to foster interdisciplinary research and collaborations between academia and industry. A “ third space” concept is proposed to conduct early proof of principle studies (Phase 0 and I). To increase the success rate in clinical development so as to provide actual benefit for patients, proactive interaction is needed between all organizational entities involved in drug development and therapeutic discovery (e.g., academia, guid- ance agencies, biotech, device and pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies, and funding agencies).

Classically, research into human disease tends to be done in a top- down or bottom- up manner, starting from symptoms or genes, respectively. While bottom-up approaches may work well in oncology, and might advance understanding of monogenic neuropsy- chiatric diseases, successful application for complex, multifactorial disorders is more difficult and has resulted in many translational failures. This chapter investigates the existing obstacles and explores options to overcome them. Complex diseases need to be dissected into measureable, manageable factors and investigated in a comparable, compatible assembly of model systems to test hypotheses, concepts, and ultimately drug candidates or other therapeutic interventions. While some of these factors might best be investigated top down, a bottom-up approach might be more effective for oth- ers. Both approaches may only be successful up to a specific point. Thus, the two must be linked and a bidirectional approach pursued. Inclusion of patients is essential as are behavioral readouts, since disease-associated dysfunctions or symptoms are often behavioral in nature. To connect models and humans, behavioral readouts need ide- ally to be linked to evolutionary conserved neural substrates. Some anchor points al- ready exist and new promising ones, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are emerging. Recent developments may speed up translation of research into clinical applications (e.g., faster drug screens in a patient-specific manner). When positioning different models, it is important to characterize their predictive power diligently, to em- phasize their scientific rigor, and to not overstate their application potential. Finally, to effect faster transition from research to clinical applications, organizational structures are needed to foster interdisciplinary research and collaborations between academia and industry. A “ third space” concept is proposed to conduct early proof of principle studies (Phase 0 and I). To increase the success rate in clinical development so as to provide actual benefit for patients, proactive interaction is needed between all organizational entities involved in drug development and therapeutic discovery (e.g., academia, guid- ance agencies, biotech, device and pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies, and funding agencies).

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Bridging the gap between patients and models
Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Brain Research Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:29 Feb 2016 10:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:10
Publisher:MIT Press
ISBN:978-0-262-02986-5
Related URLs:https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/translational-neuroscience
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-123099

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