A Novel Approach to ALS Trial Development

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Patient Recruitment & Retention,
  • Wednesday, February 13, 2019 | 11am EST (NA) / 4pm GMT (UK) / 5pm CET (EU-Central)
  • 60 min

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting some 40,000 individuals in Europe at any time, causing 10,000 deaths each year. As with other age-related neurodegenerative diseases, the drug development field is littered with inconclusive or negative trials.

Modifying Immune Response and Outcomes in ALS (MIROCALS) is an international European Union H2020-funded trial of low-dose interleukin-2 in motor neurone disease (MND)/ALS. It aims to break this impasse in the development of disease-modifying agents through novel trial design, incident (early post-diagnosis) recruitment, integration of biomarkers/transcriptomics and cohort stratification. Join this webinar to hear about an overview of the study in addition to a discussion of the challenges – both anticipated and unanticipated – in recruiting participants recently diagnosed with a rare, rapidly disabling and ultimately life-limiting condition.


P. Nigel Leigh, BSc, MB BS, PhD, FRCP, FAAN, FMedSci, Professor of Neurology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

In addition to co-leading MIROCALS, P. Nigel Leigh is Emeritus Professor at King’s College London, Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust and Director of the Sussex MND Care and Research Network. He is also Professor of Neurology at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, since his appointment in 2011. His research continues to focus on the causes, mechanisms, and treatment of MND and related neurodegenerative disorders.

After training at the London Hospital Medical College at the University of London with first-class honours degree in Anatomy and Cellular Biology (1967) and MB BS (1970) with distinctions in medicine and pathology, P. Nigel Leigh trained in medicine and neurology at the London Hospital, The Hammersmith Hospital and University College Hospital London before spending two years as Lecturer in Medicine and Neurology Specialist at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Returning to London as Senior Registrar at Atkinson Morley’s Hospital and St George’s Hospital London, he completed his PhD with Professor David Marsden FRS at the Institute of Psychiatry, London.

In 1982 he was appointed Consultant Neurologist and then Senior Lecturer at The Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton, returning to St George’s Hospital Medical School in 1986 where he started to work on the molecular pathology of motor neurone disease (MND). In 1989, he was appointed to the University Chair of Neurology at The Institute of Psychiatry and King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry where he established a research programme in neurodegenerative disorders including MND, also known as ALS.

He is a recipient of The Forbes Norris Award of the International Alliance of MND/ALS Associations, the Erb-Duchenne Prize of the German Neuromuscular Society and the Sheila Essey Prize of the American Academy of Neurology. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2003.

Message Presenter

Brian Dickie, PhD, Director of Research Development, Motor Neurone Disease Association

Brian Dickie has an academic research background in pharmacology and neuroscience. As Director of Research for the MND Association of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, he oversees a portfolio of over 90 research projects, spanning basic, clinical and healthcare research. Additional roles include raising the Association’s profile within the biomedical research community, facilitating collaborative research and communicating advances in MND research to lay and specialist audiences.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

This program is intended for senior professionals from biopharmaceutical companies working within CNS clinical research.

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, participants will learn about:

  • MIROCALS trial 
  • Novel trial design
  • Participant recruitment 
  • Use of biomarkers and transcriptomics
  • Cohort stratification

Xtalks Partner


ICON plc is a global provider of outsourced development and commercialization services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and government and public health organisations. The company specializes in the strategic development, management and analysis of programs that support clinical development. With headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, ICON currently, operates from 97 locations in 38 countries and has approximately 13,380 employees. Further information is available at ICONplc.com.

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