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World’s Largest Study for Developing Autism Medicines

March 16, 2012

Autism Speaks is playing a pivotal role in a new international effort to speed the development of safe and effective medicines for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

European Autism Interventions – A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications (EU-AIMS) represents the world’s largest single investment in autism research to date. It brings together top academic scientists who have a wide range of expertise and partners them with major global drug companies from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations.

Autism Speaks has committed almost $1 million to support EU-AIMS over its five-year duration. This funding will help establish a European-based research database and biorepository to support the development of autism medicines. This will ensure that these resources are compatible with those established by Autism Speaks and other research organizations in the United States. Such consistency is vital for effective global collaboration.

“The lack of effective pharmacological treatments for ASD has a profound effect on patients’ lives,” says Robert Ring, Ph.D., Autism Speaks vice president of translational research. “We are excited that, with this unique collaboration, we may see a real shift in future treatment for this devastating disorder.”

Autism Speaks scientists will also actively participate in EU-AIMS efforts to deliver new medical tests and biomarkers that can help identify subtypes of autism. This, in turn, may help predict how a particular patient is likely to respond to a medicine or other treatment. Over the next five years, the program will also build an extensive clinical trial network that can safely test the most promising treatments in children and adults.

“We are thrilled to see this level of financial support for research that ultimately will lead to the development of more effective treatments for people with autism,” says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, Ph.D.

For more information, please see the joint EU-AIMS press release, here.