on July 17, 2006
Dr. Mariagrazia Uguccioni, at the IRB, is the scientific coordinator of the European project INNOCHEM that aims to develop innovative chemokine-based therapeutic strategies for autommunity and chronic inflammation. The five year project involves 22 participants from 11 countries who have made major contributions to chemokine discovery, and to the construction of shared technological platforms in the following areas: -Proteomics -Transcriptional profiling for the outline of the “chemokinome”in pathophysiological conditions and identification of new antagonists.
-Molecular modelling of agonist/antagonist receptor or agonist/inhibitor interaction, for pharmacology and drug design. -Gene modified mice for target validation in autoimmune disorders. Genetic, structural, biological, and immunopathological studies will provide a framework for the development of innovative chemokine-based therapeutic strategies. In addition to academic groups, therapy-oriented research includes 3 biotech SMEs, 1 medium and 2 big Pharma companies. The companies involved develop complementary non-overlapping approaches to target the chemokine system with recombinant and low molecular weight molecules. INNOCHEM is expected to conduct a “proof of principle” clinical study in volunteers in the first 18 months.
Dr. Mariagrazia Uguccioni, Group Leader
The ambition of this project is to re-establish European leadership in chemokine research by integrating academic and industrial cutting edge groups to develop innovative therapeutic strategies against autoimmunity and chronic inflammatory disorders. The IRB will host the first INNOCHEM meeting from the 2nd to the 4th of October, in the city of Bellinzona.
Present at the meeting will be scientists and students from partner institutes as well as distinguished guest speakers from other European projects.These guests have been chosen from European projects in areas that may provide synergy with INNOCHEM. This effort to encourage the exchange of ideas across projects is a key feature of INNOCHEM, and has led to the allocation of considerable funds to student and scientist exchange programs. As an example, Katrin Kuscher form Dr. Uguccioni’s group, has been awarded a “Technology transfer” fellowship to study at the University of Brussels in the laboratory of Prof. Marc Parmentier, and Antonio Manzo of the King Collenge of London will work at the IRB as part of a Collaborative programme for the study of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
For more info: http://www.altaweb.it/innochem/index.html