We are looking forward to welcoming the AKU Scientific community to Brussels next month for our 12th International Scientific Conference on AKU.

This meeting will bring together AKU researchers, academics, and clinicians to update the wider AKU community on AKU research. Talks and presentations will include an update of current and previous research, as well as co-therapies and approaches to future genetic and mRNA therapies.

The conference is being held at the  Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) on the 14th and 15th of May:

Vanden Driessche Lecture Theatre,
Brussels Health Campus,
Vrije Universiteit Brussel,
Laarbeeklaan 103,
1090 Brussels (Jette),

Below is a copy of the agenda for the conference, where the topics and speakers presenting can be viewed:

Saturday 14th May  
Session 1. Alkaptonuria in 2022 – Chair: J A Gallagher (Liverpool)
Time (CEST) Agenda
9.00 Welcome, introduction, and aims – J De Kock (Brussels)
9.10 Overview of progress to date and future challenges – N Sireau (AKUS)
9.40 Current status with nitisinone treatment in alkaptonuria – L Ranganath (RLUH Liverpool)
10.25 Coffee break
10.45  Exploring useful modifications of walking to reduce knee pain in AKU – G Barton (LJMU Liverpool)
11.10 Novel thyroid findings in AKU – W Introne (NIH)
11.35 Update on AKU in Turkey – P Teke Kısa (Izmar)
12.00 Update on AKU in Jordan – M Alsbou (Jordan)
12.30-14.00 Lunch
Session 2. Gene therapy in AKU – Chair: J De Kock (Brussels) 
14.10 Update of AKU genetics – A Zatkova (Bratislava)
14.30 Development of robust screening assays for the evaluation of AKU mutations – S Lequeue (Brussels)
14.50 Update on gene therapy in inborn errors of metabolism – S Waddington (UCL)
15.25 Liver-directed homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (HGD) gene therapy blocks homogentisic acid (HGA) accumulation and ochronosis in a novel mouse model for alkaptonuria (virtual presentation) – H Husson (Sanofi)
16.00 Coffee Break
16.20 Panel discussion: ‘What are the challenges for gene therapy in AKU?’ – J De Kock, S Waddington, H Husson
16.45 Interplay between nitisinone, HPD, and TTC36: an in vitro and in vivo study – J Neuckermans (Brussels)
17.05 Special Lecture ‘Nitisinone and mosquito control’ (L Ranganath to introduce) – A Acosta-Serrano (Liverpool)
17.45 End of day one.
19.30 Dinner in the centre of Brussels
Sunday 15th May
Session 3. Combatting tyrosinaemia and other AKU research – Chair: M Rudebeck (Sweden)
9.30 Lessons from tyrosinaemia in HT-1 (Virtual presentation) – F van Spronsen (Groningen)
10.00 Investigating tyrosinaemia in AKU (Virtual presentation) – M Khedr (RLUH Liverpool)
10.15 Dietary management of AKU patients (Virtual presentation) – S Judd (RLUH Liverpool)
10:30 Nitisinone therapy in AKU and cognition (Virtual presentation) – A Davison (Liverpool)
10.45 Tyrosine degrading enzymes – J De Kock (Brussels)
11:05 Coffee Break
11.25 Mitigating tyrosinaemia – B Barnby (Alabama)
11.40 Is there a link between homogentisic acid and cataract formation in AKU? – B Norman (Liverpool) and H Sutherland (Liverpool)
12.05 Advanced structural studies on Ochronotic Pigment – W Y Chow (Warwick)
12.25 Anatomical study of ochronotic pigment reveals the influence of loading – J Hughes (Edge Hill)
12.40 Near-InfraRed Spectrometry in patients with alkaptonuria, a cohort study – M Vugts (Radboud)

We will share updates from the conference across our social media during the conference, as well as a full report in an upcoming blog post.

The workshop is only possible thanks to a generous grant from the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJPRD) Networking Support Scheme and the team’s assistance at VUB.

If you would like to attend the conference in-person or virtually please get in touch with [email protected] for more information.

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