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CIB group participates in an EU funded International consortium tackling neglected parasitic diseases

CIB group participates in an EU funded International consortium tackling neglected parasitic diseases

amartinez

CIB group participates in an EU funded International consortium tackling neglected parasitic diseases
Five academic institutions, two governmental institutes and two leading SMEs from Europe, Africa and Latin America are joining forces to develop novel drugs against parasites. The 4-year EU-funded project with 7.8M€ led by VU University Amsterdam is called PDE4NPD: PhosphoDiEsterase inhibitors for Neglected Parasitic Diseases.

Drug discovery platform

The PDE4NPD project enables public and private partners to join forces within the EU Seventh Framework program to tackle these healthcare needs. The consortium consists of VU University Amsterdam (NL), University of Glasgow (UK), University of Kent (UK), University of Antwerp (BE), Spanish National Research Council (ES), Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (BR), Theodor Bilharz Research Institute (EG), European Screening Port (DE), IOTA Pharmaceuticals (UK) and Top Institute Pharma (NL) and combines various drug discovery approaches into one platform that is dedicated to developing drugs against parasite PDEs: a family of well­-characterized enzymes.

“Previous studies have shown that PDEs are highly druggable and that targeting parasite PDEs is a viable strategy to combat these diseases”, states principal investigator Rob Leurs of VU University, as well-known drugs such as Viagra® and Daxas® effectively target illnesses caused by human PDEs. He continues: “This consortium has all the expertise to develop parasite‐specific PDE inhibitors with high clinical potential. We will use state-of-the-art structural biology and screening technologies for finding new molecules with drug-like properties.”

Role of CIB group

The Translational Medicinal and Biological Chemistry group, recently incorporated at CIB, has vast experience in hit-to-lead and lead-to-candidate research lines. Within the PDE4NPD project, the research team of Carmen Gil, Ana Martinez and Nuria E. Campillo will focus on the design, synthesis and further optimization of structurally diverse chemical entities that target parasite PDEs. Efforts will lie in the pharmacological validation of new targets, which will stimulate the development of innovative drugs with novel mechanisms of action. The research team will apply several medicinal chemistry techniques and methodologies. “We will participate in the development of drugs against parasite PDEs, taking advance of our strong background in the design and synthesis of human PDE inhibitors”, says Carmen Gil.