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The NGF System and its interplay with endocannabinoid signalling, from peripheral sensory terminals to the brain: new targets for the development of next generation drugs for neuropathic pain

Foto gruppo Cattaneo OK

The PAINCAGE Consortium:

  1. it is made of absolute world class leaders in their own fields
  2. it includes a wide range of different expertise and initial results
  3. it is highly complementary, yet very well integrated and focussed on the well defined project objectives.

The combination of expertise in the project is remarkably interdisciplinary, ranging from structural biology and drug optinization, to sophisticated electrophysiology, optogenetics, mouse genetics, genomics, deep-sequencing,

The added value of the Consortium to the project, with respect to each of the individual partners, is a key aspect of the project success.

To fully exploit the huge therapeutic potential of the NGF system and its interaction with ECs, we have built an interacting consortium of leading researchers in the neurotrophins (NTs), EC and pain scientific arena. This interdisciplinary approach will allow us understanding the specific molecular mechanisms and cellular interactions linked to the regulation of pain processing at different levels of the nociceptive pathways triggered by NGF and dampened by the EC systems

The successful outcome of the project is ensured not only by the planned objectives, but also by the strength of the network, that can be summarized as follows: highly interdisciplinary, diverse and well integrated, with complementary skills and expertise. Both academic and SME partners are involved, with well-documented first-hand direct experience with the development of recombinant therapeutic proteins for CP.

The Consortium includes, in a well balanced mix, very competitive groups with a longstanding experience in pain studies, from different angles and with different approaches, together with groups that are leaders in the biology of the molecular systems (NGF/NGFRs and EC) the project is centered on.

Many groups have already collaborated pairwise, or in subgroups, in a very effective and productive manner, witnessed by joint publications, as well as by the joint participation in EU funded projects (project Memories -EBRI and AU).

The Consortium includes two SME, this highlights our firm belief that the project will lead to industrially relevant results. One SME (Genomnia) is a technological company, based on deep sequencing and genomic approaches, while the second one (Levi) is developing a drug candidate (a soluble form of NGF p75NTR) based on the mechanisms central to this proposal.

The Consortium covers all of the phases of the drug development process, in the therapeutic space of NP, from the understanding of the basic mechanisms, to the identification and validation of targets and biomarkers, to the preclinical development of already identified drug candidates and their optimization for clinical development.

» The Consortium as a Whole