This year’s SMA Researcher Meeting received a record number of abstract submissions, totaling 118 contributions from 14 countries, six different companies, and more than 50 institutions worldwide.
The Researcher Meeting is expected to attract more than 300 researchers and clinicians from nearly 100 intuitions, plus other attendants, making this year’s meeting an anticipated event.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic condition that affects the part of the central nervous system (CNS) responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement. The 2016 SMA Researcher Meeting is not only accepting abstract proposals for researcher-discussions, it is also focusing on family-friendly poster sessions in which families can interact directly with the researchers presenting their work and ask them any questions they might find relevant.
A panel discussion with a Q&A session will also be open to families attending the session and representatives from the major drug programs in development will all be invited to participate, according to a press release.
From all the submissions received by the organization, Cure SMA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) will select the most promising ones to be presented at the event. During this process, submissions that might address similar issues will be assembled in group sessions to stimulate debate and collaborations that can advance research on the disease.
Every year there are special themed sessions. This year’s special session, “The Changing Landscape of SMA: Consideration of Future Needs,” aims to discuss upcoming changes in SMA and what drug approvals could be in the near future.
The session will include a debate on the approval of second-in-class drugs; the use of combination therapies; and the importance of registries and standards of care. This year’s moderator will be Cure SMA’s SAB member, Stephen J. Kolb, M.D., Ph.D., who is an assistant professor of neurology and molecular and cellular biochemistry.
This event’s SAB also extends invitations to scientists in other medical fields to promote interdisciplinary research. Past sessions have included ALS researchers who have helped attendees understand what can be learned from the advancements made in other neuromuscular disorders.
the Annual SMA Conference is scheduled for June 16-19 this year at The Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California.