Sampling and Biomarker OPtimization and Harmonization In ALS and other motor neuron diseases (SOPHIA)

At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2013
  • Initiating Organization: UMC Utrecht
  • Initiator Type: Government
  • Rare disease
  • Disease focus:
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The overall aim of the consortium is to provide a common European strategy for the prioritization and selection of candidate biomarker domains for optimization and harmonization.  In turn, this provides a long-term platform by which existing collaborative structures that are relevant to neurodegenerative disease biomarkers (including academic initiatives, co-funding strategies, biobanks, industrial efforts, private-public alliances) are integrated within an inclusive web-based virtual biobank.  Samples and clinical/imaging/neurophysiologic and neuropathological datasets provided by participating members can then be optimally utilized to enable state of the art collaborative analyses.


The established platform will act as an important communication channel between this consortium and the rest of the ALS/Neurodegeneration field to ensure that the optimization efforts are in line with the whole ALS/Neurodegeneration field, and will act as a permanent interactive European ALS biomarkers platform for researchers to optimize/harmonize novel biomarkers using an established pan-European ALS methodology.  

Consortium History

For links to each of the consortium’s annual reports, click here

Structure & Governance

The organizational structure of the consortium comprises several consortium bodies.  The Executive Board is the ultimate decision-making body, the Work Packages Teams manage the groups for Work Packages, the Project Office handles the day-to-day management, and the Advisory Board provides expert advice to the Executive Board.


SOPHIA is funded through the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND)

Points of Contact
+31 887551166 (tel)
+31 887555889 (fax)
UMC Utrecht
Department of Neurology
P.O. Box 85500
3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Sponsors & Partners

UMC Utrecht

VIB Leuven

APHP Paris

University of Ulm

University Hospital Jena

Trinity College Dublin

University of Turin

IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano

Medical University of Warsaw

Instituto de Medicina Molecular Lisbon

Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica Oeiras

Servicio Madrileno de Salud

Kantonsspital St. Gallen

Istanbul University

Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience

Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Last Updated: 06/27/2017

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