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Huntington's Disease: A Radical RNA Approach Aided by Lundbeck Foundation's Frontier Grant

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In the ever-evolving Nordic tech landscape, we're seeing groundbreaking developments emerge in the realm of medical research. One such stride comes from Associate Professor Ulf Andersson Vang Ørom of Aarhus University. With the aid of a DKK 4.3 million Frontier Grant from the Lundbeck Foundation, Ørom aims to transform the treatment approach for the relentless Huntington’s disease.

Huntington’s, which primarily affects the central nervous system, is characterized by involuntary movements, cognitive difficulties, and depression. Current treatments only offer symptomatic relief. Ørom, an expert in RNA Biology, is determined to change that. Teaming up with Veronica Brito from the University of Barcelona, Ørom seeks to initiate RNA-targeted treatments that prevent the genetic error causing Huntington's from leading to protein aggregation in cells.

A significant discovery underpins this research. Ørom found that in mice, the diseased mRNA structure differs from its healthy counterpart due to unique chemical changes or “modifications.” This opens the possibility of selectively targeting the diseased mRNA without affecting the healthy one.

Lundbeck Foundation's introduction of Frontier Grants in 2022 was with such innovative, risk-taking projects in mind. If Ørom's methodology proves successful, it could lay the groundwork for a new realm of RNA medicines, potentially revolutionizing treatments for diseases beyond Huntington's, including certain cancers.

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