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Daily News Update: Monday, 17 June



Welcome to your daily round-up of everything happening in the world of neurorehabilitation.

Research news

Urgent need for region-specific models to improve brain health in diverse settings

A pioneering study has unveiled significant heterogeneity in the risk factors affecting healthy ageing in Latin America and emphasised the limitations of current models of brain health, which are primarily based on data from high-income countries. The research was conducted by researchers from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), and by colleagues in Universidad Adolfo Ibanez (Chile) and Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) among others.

New metric for blood circulation in brain to better understand dementia

Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood through the brain vessels, causing them to expand slightly and then relax, much like the rise and fall of the blood pulsing through your veins when you feel your pulse in your wrist. This pulsation in the brain helps distribute blood evenly across different areas of the brain, ensuring that all parts receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly. In healthy vessels, the pulse wave is dampened before it reaches the smallest vessels, where high pulsatility could be harmful. This new metric provides a comprehensive measure of the small vessel pulsatility risk. A paper just published in Scientific Reports- Nature by Sergio Dempsey as first author with colleagues Dr Soroush Safaei, Dr Gonzalo Maso Talou at Auckland Bioengineering Institute, along with co-author Dr Holdsworth (Mātai and FMHS & CBR at the University of Auckland), describes the new metric based on 4D flow MRI technology.

Sulfur metabolites linked to neurodegenerative diseases

At ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, researchers reported a new link in humans between a metabolite produced by gut microbes and 3 NDDs. Their analysis suggests that the metabolite DHPS (2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulfonate) may help answer critical questions about how sulfur metabolism pathways can connect the microbiome to these diseases. DHPS has not previously been detected in people, and the researchers noted that metabolites produced by gut microbes in patients with NDDs might offer valuable clues to a better understanding, which could lead to improved diagnostic tools or even treatments.

Company and financial neuro-rehab news

Phase 3 topline results for Soticlestat

Takeda has announced topline data from its SKYLINE and SKYWAY studies. SKYLINE (TAK-935-3001) was a multicentre, randomised, double-blind Phase 3 study that evaluated soticlestat (TAK-935) plus standard of care versus placebo plus standard of care in patients with refractory Dravet syndrome (DS). Soticlestat narrowly missed the primary endpoint of reduction from baseline in convulsive seizure frequency as compared to placebo. Among the six key secondary endpoints, soticlestat showed clinically meaningful and nominally significant results in the responder rate, measures of caregiver and clinician global impression of improvement, and seizure intensity and duration scales over the 16-week treatment period.

UMC Utrecht and VectorY Therapeutics collaborate in ALS Biomarker Study

UMC Utrecht has enrolled its first patient for a new study to identify biomarkers of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The observational investigator-initiated study is led by Professor Dr. Leonard van den Berg and supported by VectorY Therapeutics.VectorY Therapeutics is developing innovative vectorised antibody therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. VectorY’s lead program, VTx-002, is targeting TDP-43 for the treatment of ALS. ALS is a devastating condition that in the Western world has an estimated lifetime risk of 1:400. It is characterized by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons, which leads to an average life expectancy after the first signs of symptoms of just three to five years. Currently, there is no cure available for ALS and available treatments only slow disease progression by months.

The new longitudinal study announced today aims to identify blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of ALS patients. Finding these biomarkers is expected to help diagnose ALS and monitor disease progression and improve the design of future clinical studies. It is also anticipated that biomarkers will provide insights into ALS pathogenesis, supporting the development of new therapeutics.

Neurotechnology news

Dandelion Science and the Wyss Center Geneva announce AI partnership to generate non-invasive brain therapies

The Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva and Dandelion Science are excited to announce a partnership focused on a cutting-edge generative AI neuromodulation platform that could speed the development of safe, non-invasive ways of treating neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. The platform harnesses the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to synthesise, on demand, precision sensory stimulation therapies. Dr. Erwin Böttinger, Director of the Wyss Center, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “We are delighted to invest in and partner with Dandelion Science. The promise of generative AI as a new therapeutic paradigm for brain disorders is exciting. AI guided neuromodulation is a key focus area for the Wyss Center, to develop smarter therapies for neurologic and mental health disorders by combining artificial intelligence and novel non-invasive neuromodulation techniques targeting deep brain structures. Dandelion’s innovative deeptech approach, robust intellectual property portfolio, and exceptional team make them an ideal partner. We look forward to the transformative impact this technology could have on patients worldwide.”