Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): European Situation

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): The European Situation before EU-AIMS

  • No major strategy defined within Europe
  • No major or concerted efforts in drug discovery
  • No pre-clinical network
  • No clinical trial network
  • No translational network
  • No regulatory strategy
  • Late diagnosis and poor awareness (including in adults)
  • Poor knowledge of individuals with autism needs across life-course (teens into adulthood)
  • Wide range in treatment strategy with no evidence of efficacy

Developing on autism research strategy in Europe

There are no effective pharmacological therapies for the core symptoms of autism, and our biological understanding of autism is poor. Research is hampered by a lack biological models and clinical trials with varied groups of autistic people

If novel treatments were developed, there is no EU platform to test them clinically. The recent identification of genes associated with autism provides unique opportunities to address this situation.

We aimed to undertake an integrated, translational, effort to achieve key objectives for autism research.  We delivered new tools and standards for clinical development to pave  the way for a better quality of life for autistic people.

We aimed to harness these new developments to develop treatments that are driven by our biological understanding of autism.

Basic and clinical translational science in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): What EU-AIMS reached so far

  • Mapping the use of psychopharmacology and behavioural interventions across Europe[1],[2]
  • Gaining scientific qualification advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the LEAP biomarker protocol[3]
  • Developing a clinical network of 93 clinical and/or research ASD centres spread across 37 countries
  • Surveying the use of diagnostic assessments instruments in clinical sites across Europe[4]