Last week we posted a rough study design for a trial of anle138b in FFI and E200K mice. In response to comments we received on the blog post, we’ve made two important revisions.

First, power calculations showed that reducing the imaging frequency to biweekly, triweekly or even monthly would have little impact on the statistical power of the study.  We have now tentatively set an imaging frequency of 2 weeks, so as to be conservative and allow for the possibility that we may want to set a threshold of 2 positive BLI scans to define “onset” and/or use ANCOVA or other models based on the slope of the BLI line rather than a discrete point of onset.

Second, thanks to Sergey Ryazanov of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry for pointing out that the best price for luciferin is far less than the $3 we had assumed in our original calculations.  In fact, luciferin prices vary almost 100-fold, as we now see:

provider largest qty sold (mg) price for largest qty unit price (per 1.5mg)
Sigma 100 mg $1480 $22.20
Life 25 mg $184 $11.04
Perkin Elmer N/A Request a quote $3.00*
Gold BioTech 10000 mg $2390 $0.36

*The estimate of $3 originally quoted in this blog post was a calculation based on a quote that Brenda Canine at McLaughlin Research Institute had received from PerkinElmer for a different experiment.

Gold BioTech is a clear winner at just $0.36 / dose.

As of today, we’re announcing that Prion Alliance will seek to fund this study, partly by taking advantage of the final two weeks of our Microryza campaign which looks sure to tip 100% within the next day or two.  Prion Alliance (like most non-profit disease research foundations) doesn’t pay indirect costs, which removes another line item from the original budget.  However, we’ll still be on the lookout for grant opportunities over the next few months to supplement the funds we are able to raise.

All told, our new cost structure is now summarized as follows:

item cost
Cage space $2,500
Food $3,100
Luciferin $600
Labor $2,600
TOTAL $8,800

This is for two genotypes: FFI and E200K, so testing each genotype will cost $4,400.

Today we have 10 days left of our Microryza campaign, which runs through next Friday, 9/27.  After we hit 100%, remaining funds raised in the coming two weeks will go towards funding this bioluminescence-based study of anle138b in fatal familial insomnia and E200K Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease mice.  If all goes well, the study should be able to begin in early 2014.