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CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom

Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.2-3 | Award Amount: 15.68M | Year: 2010

The initiation and perpetuation of atrial fibrillation (AF) can be regarded as a complication of a progressive transformation of the structure and functional properties of the atria. This transformation is the result of complex and multiple changes at the molecular, cellular and organ levels which interact to form the basis for proarrhythmic mechanisms in AF. Numerous individual and environmental factors are probably involved in this profound transformation process in the atria. Therefore, we believe that progress in the diagnostics, prevention and treatment of AF requires highly integrative research from the molecule to bedside and from specific signaling pathways and electrophysiological mechanisms to population based studies. A consortium was formed providing this variety of expertises and has identified central research objectives for improvements in AF prevention and therapy. In 5 work packages focusing on basic research, new biomarkers for AF and therapeutic targets will be identified. We will study mechanisms of conduction disturbances in the atria, explore new ion channel targets for treatment of AF, identify specific alterations in the atria depending on the underlying heart disease, and evaluate beneficial effects of organ-protective compounds. Within two clinically oriented work packages the clinical application of these findings will be tested. The predictive value of diagnostic tools like serum biomarkers, 3D reconstruction of atrial conduction patterns based on high resolution body surface ECGs, and echocardiographic markers will be studied in large scale population studies. The new therapeutic targets will be explored in smaller prove-of-principle clinical trials (substrate oriented ablation, new pharmacological targets, and local gene delivery).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-5 | Award Amount: 15.72M | Year: 2008

The European Drug Initiative on Channels and Transporters, EDICT, allies for the first time, partners with world-class expertise in both the structural and functional characterisation of membrane channels and transporters. State-of-the-art facilities and personnel for X-ray crystallography, Electron Microscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and the latest throughput technology, will provide infrastructure for scientists characterising channel and transport functions in man and pathogenic microorganisms. Our experts in the analyses of all the databases of these membrane proteins and molecular modelling will work with our industrial partners on specific targets chosen for their potential to improve the health of European citizens, increase the competitiveness of European health-related industries and businesses and address global health issues. EDICT will increase knowledge of biological processes and mechanisms involved in normal health and in specific disease situations, and transpose this knowledge into clinical applications. By combining computational and experimental analyses, existing detailed molecular models of channel and transporter proteins, and novel structures derived by our partners, will be analysed to identify the critical regions constituting drug targets. These basic discoveries will be translated via in silico and experimental strategies with our industrial partners into the design of novel drugs that modify activities of the membrane proteins for the benefit of the patients. The range of human proteins covered includes potassium channels, anion and cation transporters, neurotransmitter transporters, cation-transporting ATPases and mitochondrial transporters. Structures of bacterial homologues to the human proteins are exploited to inform the studies of their human counterparts


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2009-3-2-01 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2010

Biodiversity in the seas is only partly explored, although marine organisms are excellent sources for many industrial products. Through close co-operation between industrial and academic partners, the MAREX project will collect, isolate and classify marine organisms, such as micro- and macroalgae, cyanobacteria, sea anemones, tunicates and fish from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as from the Mediterranean, Baltic and Arabian Seas. Extracts and purified compounds of these organisms will be studied for several therapeutically and industrially significant biological activities, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticoagulant activities by applying a wide variety of screening tools, as well as for ion channel/receptor modulation and plant growth regulation. Chromatographic isolation of bioactive compounds will be followed by structural determination. Sustainable cultivation methods for promising organisms, and biotechnological processes for selected compounds will be developed, as well as biosensors for monitoring the target compounds. The work will entail sustainable organic synthesis of selected active compounds and new derivatives, and development of selected hits to lead compounds. The project will expand marine compound libraries. MAREX innovations will be targeted for industrial product development in order to improve the growth and productivity of European marine biotechnology. MAREX aims at a better understanding of environmentally conscious sourcing of marine biotechnology products and increased public awareness of marine biodiversity and potential. Finally, MAREX is expected to offer novel marine-based lead compounds for European industries and strengthen their product portfolios related to pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic, agrochemical, food processing, material and biosensor applications.

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