2020 GBS|CIDP Foundation International Research Grants Announced!

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Research grants are made possible through the benevolence of many sources, including the Helen S. Manheimer Research Fund, contributions from individuals who have been personally touched by GBS, CIDP, or variants, and by several commercial sources. Through the generosity of these contributors, to whom the Foundation is most grateful, we are able continue our Research Grant Program for the 14th consecutive year. Please join us in congratulating the following seve, 2020 research grant recipients including:

1.  Principal Investigator: Frank Baas, MD, PhD, Prof

Leiden University Medical Center Leiden, The Netherlands.

Title of Project: Inhibition of the terminal complement pathway in EAN with a novel monoclonal antibody targeting C6

Synopsis: In this project, we will show whether blockade of C6 is an attractive target, as generation of MAC is prevented, but in contrast to C5-inhibition, the C5a-induced pathways remain unaffected.

2.  Principal Investigators: Natalia Gonzalez, MD, and Lisa Hobson-Webb, MD

Duke University Medical Center

Title of Project: Nerve Ultrasound for Diagnosis and Prognosis of GBS

Synopsis: Delay in Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) diagnosis and treatment is associated with higher frequency of intubation and residual weakness. We have two main objectives for this pilot study:

  1. to define peripheral nerve ultrasound (US) measures diagnostic of GBS in the acute setting and
  2. to identify peripheral nerve US biomarkers of GBS prognosis.

3.  Principal Investigators: Luis Querol MD PhD

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Title of Project: Precision medicine in chronic inflammatory neuropathy assessment       

Synopsis: The aim of this project is to find precise tools that help optimize patient monitoring in daily clinical practice by using two objective measures of disease activity: a wearable system to monitor gait parameters, and serum neurofilament levels, a novel blood biomarker of neuronal damage used in other neurological diseases. If successful, this project will provide better tools to assess disease status and treatment effect and, ultimately, more precision in neurological assessment that help improve patient care and clinical trial outcomes.

4.  Principal Investigators: Professor Michael Lunn

Institute of Neurology, University College London (UCL)

Title of Project: Validation of novel biomarkers in acquired inflammatory neuropathies

Synopsis: Inflammatory neuropathies are a heterogeneous group of acquired nerve-damaging disorders, which commonly have life-changing implications for sufferers. The most common chronic immune-mediated form, CIDP, has an estimated prevalence of 3 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom1.

To resolve these unmet needs, we will identify novel POEMS, GBS and CIDP biomarker.

5.  Principal Investigators: Amro Stino, MD

University of Michigan Medical School

Title of Project: Lenalidomide in anti-MAG Neuropathy: Phase 1b Study

Synopsis: We aim to assess the safety profile and maximum tolerated dose of Lenalidomide in anti-MAG neuropathy. Drug efficacy will serve as secondary outcome. Lenalidomide is current standard of care therapy in the treatment of paraproteinemic neuropathies, namely osteosclerotic myeloma (POEMS syndrome), amyloid, and multiple myeloma. Its safety and efficacy in anti-MAG IgM associated demyelinating neuropathy (DADS syndrome) has not been previously explored.

6.  Principal Investigators: Camiel Verhamme MD PhD

Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Title of Project: Optimizing (electro) diagnosis in CIDP with machine learning

Synopsis: Despite current diagnostic criteria sets for CIDP, the rate of misdiagnosis is high. In this project, our aim is to develop machine learning (ML) algorithms with improved (electro) diagnostic accuracy for CIDP as compared to current criteria sets.

7.  Principal Investigators: Luuk Wieske MD PhD

Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Title of Project: Proteomics based discovery of disease activity biomarkers in chronic inflammatory   demyelinating polyneuropathy

Synopsis: Patients suffering from and clinicians treating chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) are currently lacking disease activity biomarkers that can provide objective guidance on when to start and stop treatment. Serum proteins may serve as quantitative, responsive and easily obtainable disease activity biomarkers. In this project, our aim is to identify potential disease activity biomarkers by screening a focused blood proteome comprised of 184 proteins related to the nervous system and inflammation