PRELUDE clinical drug trial

“This is a very timely and great opportunity to get engaged in precision medicine for ALS.” – scientific peer reviewer

People with different types of ALS (the most common form of MND) have different responses to experimental drugs, prompting the need for personalised treatments. Previous trials into the effect of a drug called lithium carbonate revealed that the drug may only be beneficial for people with ALS with changes in a gene known as Unc13a. People with this gene mutation typically have more rapidly developing symptoms, however, when given lithium in a previous trial, their prognosis seemed to improve.

PRELUDE (Personalised treatment with Lithium Carbonate for Unc13a Determined ALS) is a major new international, multi-centre, phase III clinical trial to investigate the effect of lithium carbonate on survival in ALS patients carrying the Unc13a mutation. Multiple centres from across the UK (led by Prof Ammar Al-Chalabi at King’s College London), Europe and Australia will participate. If successful, this trial could provide an effective new treatment to one in every six people with ALS that significantly increases survival. The trial will begin in the coming months, with the first participants expected to be recruited in early 2021.

The project will cost the MND Association £520,000 across 3.5 years.

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