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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2011.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 6.98M | Year: 2011

Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) is a heterogeneous group of rare hereditary neurodegenerative disorders characterized by high levels of brain iron. The most common form is pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN). Classic PKAN and most other NBIA cases are characterised by early childhood onset and rapid progression. Currently, there is no proven therapy to halt or reverse PKAN or any other NBIA. This is especially unfortunate as both the iron accumulation in NBIA and the biochemical defect in PKAN are predicted to be amenable to drug-based treatment. Thus, the current absence of clinical trials is not due to lack of therapeutic options but to rarity of the disease, lack of patient registries and fragmentation of therapeutic research worldwide. For example, the iron-chelating drug deferiprone has been administered to PKAN patients on an individual basis or in pilot trials, both precluding firm conclusions about its efficacy. With TIRCON, we will address this urgent and unmet need for NBIA/PKAN therapy with an ambitious and highly collaborative plan that leverages worldwide expertise. We propose a large investigator-driven randomized clinical trial of deferiprone in PKAN, bringing together leading centres and patient advocacy groups from Europe and the US to reach the required patient cohort size. In addition, together with a European SME, we propose to pursue preclinical development of pantethine and its derivatives which have shown promising efficacy in a Drosophila PKAN model. To facilitate future research, we will develop a harmonized patient registry and biomaterial bank to allow for natural history studies and biomarker development, two critical needs in NBIA research. TIRCON partners, apart from their unique clinical and basic science expertise in NBIA, have longstanding experience in investigator-driven and industry-driven randomized clinical trials. Importantly, they have been closely collaborating in recent years.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-2 | Phase: SC5-20-2015 | Award Amount: 2.55M | Year: 2015

ACIES BIO, a SME with a decade of profound experience and market understanding, has developed an innovative and disruptive technology already recognized within SME INST Phase 1 to address a major unsolved high-cost environmental challenge for the worlds dairy industry: acid waste whey. Around 200 million tons of waste whey is produced annually, of which nearly 50% goes unprocessed and ends up clogging the wastewater treatment stations or, in less regulated environments, is released into streams thus heavily polluting the environment. The W2V project aims to bring to market a unique patent-pending eco-innovation bioprocess to utilize acid waste whey as a primary ingredient for microbial fermentation to produce sustainable high value product. Its key objective is to launch production of organic vitamin B12 on the market through eco-innovative technology, which uses waste whey as input substrate and produces as a result high value product vitamin B12 and purified water. It is solving the unmet challenge of sustainable milk processing with Make-Use-Reuse principle: from milk industries (cheese production) through waste whey management to vitamin B12 production used for the animal feed additives industry and cleaned water reused in the dairy industry again. The implementation of W2V technology will greatly reduce the environmental footprint, lower the production costs and increase competitiveness of dairy companies. Particularly, W2V technology will be highly relevant for European dairy industry, where most companies consist of small-medium sized dairy factories, which cannot afford costly processing facilities for disposal of acid whey. W2V will generate an entirely new type of product for the EU and global markets: an organic vitamin B12-enriched microbial biomass, which can be used as very high quality animal feed, creating a perfect example of sustainable and economical circular zero-waste economy and bringing production of vitamin B12 back to Europe.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: SC5-20-2014-1 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2015

ACIES BIO has developed an innovative and disruptive high-value technology to address a major economical and environmental challenge of the worlds dairy industry: waste whey. Over 200 million tons of whey is generated annually, and only limited economical solutions exist to process it. The innovative patent pending technology Whey2Value uses a unique bioprocess to utilize whey as a primary ingredient for microbial fermentation to produce sustainable high-value products, such as vitamin B12. The technology greatly reduces the negative impact on the environment by almost eliminating the organic content of the wastewater, allowing for its recycling, while the product of the technology is a protein-rich biomass with high content of vitamin B12 to be used as a very high quality animal feed to complete the dairy industrys circle. The innovation W2V is perfect example of how circular economy should work. The Whey2Value technology requires a very low-cost processing facility, which can be installed on site, and minimal maintenance costs. It represents a truly unique opportunity to create a huge and disruptive impact on dairy industry, particularly for the competitiveness of small and medium sized European dairy companies, generating high-value products from waste material, and at the same time creating a sustainable solution with a greatly reduced burden to the environment. The objective of this project proposal is to prepare a thorough business plan and feasibility study in the scope of Phase 1, followed by scaling-up and demonstration of operational technology in industrial setting with a local dairy company in the scope of Phase 2. The technology is ready for industrial demonstration, which will be followed by EU and global commercialization of Whey2Value. We expect a rapid worldwide market adoption of this disruptive eco-biotechnology.

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