Denali Therapeutics Partners with AFTD for Food for Thought Event


As part of AFTD’s Food for Thought campaign, AFTD Director of Research Engagement Shana Dodge, PhD, joined biopharmaceutical company Denali Therapeutics Oct. 5 during its internal all-staff meeting focused on FTD education and sharing insights from the FTD community. .

Dodge led a presentation entitled “FTD: Voices from a Community,” which virtually convened nearly 280 Denali team members. The presentation included an overview of FTD, AFTD’s work in support of persons diagnosed and their families, and key insights gathered from the AFTD-hosted Externally Led Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting.

“We are excited to see biotechnology companies participating in AFTD awareness campaigns such as Food for Thought,” said Dodge. “Collaborating with these corporations allows us to expand public understanding of FTD and gives us an opportunity to ensure that future treatments are aligned with the concerns, values, and priorities of people impacted by FTD.”

Dodge also shared information from the FTD Insights Survey, which was conducted in partnership with the FTD Disorders Registry in March. Nearly 1,800 respondents participated in the survey, providing personal insight into aspects such as the FTD diagnostic journey, troublesome symptoms, attitudes towards clinical trial participation, and past treatment experiences.

“We were honored to have Shana share with us insights into the experiences of those living with FTD, which informs and inspires our daily work,” said Carole Ho, M.D., Denali’s chief medical officer. “We are grateful for our partnership with the AFTD and recognize the importance of working together to advance the science and future therapeutic options for those living with FTD.”

During the meeting, Denali scientists discussed their work in developing potential treatment options for FTD-GRN, which is caused by progranulin deficiencies. Denali’s most recent study, published in Cell, analyzed GRN mutations in FTD and included preclinical proof of concept for using its Protein Transport Vehicle (PTV) to increase progranulin levels — the protein deficiency most common in genetic forms of FTD.

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