The Aging in Motion (AIM) Coalition today hosted a meeting with leaders from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and leading scientists, industry representatives and advocates to highlight the latest developments in clinical research and treatment of sarcopenia, an aging-related condition that causes progressive loss of skeletal muscle. Held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, the morning meeting featured: an update on efforts to establish a clinical definition for sarcopenia; the progress being made in formalizing both performance-based and patient-based outcome measures to support regulatory assessment of sarcopenia treatments; and a dialogue between FDA and sarcopenia experts on how clinical trials can be more successful.
According to Dan Perry, the chair of the AIM Coalition, the meeting represented an opportunity to educate FDA colleagues about the growing consensus among clinicians on the common measures that will most accurately reveal outcomes that yield effective therapies to treat sarcopenia and counter functional decline.
“At present, the FDA does not have an official policy on sarcopenia nor has it approved any drugs for the treatment of this condition,” he said. “The AIM Coalition has dedicated its efforts to changing this through collaboration, education and creating a common consensus on appropriate therapy development strategies. Our meeting with the FDA is a first important step in demonstrating we are on the right path to accomplishing our goal.”
Among the experts who presented at the meeting were:
— Maria Vassileva, Ph.D., senior scientific program manager, FNIH Biomarkers Consortium
— Jack M. Guralnik, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., professor, Division of Gerontology, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine
— Donald Patrick, Ph.D., professor, Health Services, University of Washington
The AIM Coalition will communicate more information from the meeting on its website in the coming weeks. Please visit aginginmotion.org for more updates. You can also follow its Twitter feed: @aginginmotion
About the AIM Coalition
The Aging in Motion (AIM) Coalition is a diverse group of patient, caregiver, health and aging groups working together to press for greater levels of research and innovation to develop treatments in the area of sarcopenia and age-related functional decline. Initiated by the Alliance for Aging Research, the AIM Coalition members are leading ongoing interactions with clinicians, regulators and policy influencers to overcome obstacles that impede the development and evaluation of promising treatments for sarcopenia and associated functional decline in people as they age. AIM members represent patients, providers, caregivers, consumers, aging Americans, researchers, employers and the health care industry.
Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle that comes with aging. Most people begin to lose modest amounts of muscle mass after age 30, but the resulting loss of strength increases exponentially with age. Sarcopenia is thought to play a major role in the increased frailty and functional impairment that comes with age. Possible effects of sarcopenia include decreased muscle strength, problems with mobility, frailty, weak bones (osteoporosis), falls and fractures, decreased activity levels, diabetes, middle-age weight gain and a loss of physical function and independence.