A Munich University professor for neurology coordinates an international, EU-financed research program on a rare neurodegenerative illness


Under coordination of Prof. Dr. Med. Thomas Klopstock (Friedrich-Bauer Institute at Munich Ludwig-Maximilian University hospital’s neurology clinic), and with the support of the Bavarian Alliance for Research (Dr. Florence Gauzy), the international consortium TIRCON was able to secure a 5.2 million euros funding over 4 years from the EU to conduct research on a rare neurodegenerative disease.

TIRCON (“Treat Iron-Related Childhood-Onset Accumulation”) focuses on “Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation” (NBIA) illnesses. These are characterized by iron accumulation within the brain, a neurologic degeneration that usually starts during childhood, with a dramatic evolution. Little is known about them, not to the least because of the extreme rarity of NBIA illnesses, which prevents from gathering consistent and relevant data. With this funding – coming from the 7th frame-agreement for research in the EU – it is eventually made possible to explore new avenues.(…)

At the project’s core lies a multicentered clinical study on a possible Deferiprone-based therapy – a substance fixating iron – which will be led in 6 different clinics in Europe and North America. Deferiprone producer, the Canadian company ApoPharma, supports TIRCON in this study.

“I am happy that the long bilateral cooperation between Bavaria and Canada in the neurologic sciences could lead to such a project on European scale”, said Martin Reichel, Director of the Bavarian Alliance for Research (Bayerische Forschungsallianz, bayFOR). “In 2010 already, this cooperation led to a multinational research project on rare neurologic diseases, the European Multidisciplinary Initiative on Neuroacanthocytosis (EMINA), which bayFOR had also supported during the EU funding application.”

Source, read more: www.bayfor.org/media/ (pdf, in German)