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Unimore joins the European platform on nanomedicine

Nanomedicine and its therapeutic potential are currently one of the most promising research fields at national and European level. Recently Unimore has understood this trend and has joined the European platform on nanomedicine, appointing prof. Giovanni Tosi as its representative. “Joining the European Platform on nanomedicine is an important perspective for the development of nanomedicines, with an international and not only local scope, and is the result of the work we have pursued and developed over the last years, with some encouraging results of laboratories dedicated to nanomedicine”, states Unimore professor Giovanni Tosi.

More specifically, a multidisciplinary research line for the application of nanomedicine to central nervous system diseases has been active for some years at the TeFarTI Centre of the Department of Life Sciences, coordinated by professor Maria Angela Vandelli. The objective is to use biodegradable and bio-compatible polymeric systems able to efficiently penetrate the blood-brain barrier and deliver drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The projects included in this field of research and carried out in collaboration with Italian and international research groups of the highest scientific level have involved the Huntington’s Chorea and paediatric neurometabolic diseases such as mucopolysaccharidosis disorders. They have been recently financed and their common goal is to prove the effectiveness and therapeutic potentials of nanomedicine strategies in pre-clinical pathological models.

More specifically and as far as the Huntington’s Chorea is concerned, the “ Targeting neurons with cholesterol. How can it change the future of Huntington Disease patients  ” project, financed by Telethon and with professor Elena Cattaneo of the University of Milan responsible for it, provides for a close collaboration between the Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Pharmacology of Neurodegenerative Diseases of the University of Milan, the University of Pavia and the Nanomedicine Laboratory of Te.Far.T.I., the research centre on traditional and innovative pharmaceutic technologies at Unimore.

“Delivering drugs effectively in the nervous system for therapeutic purposes is an extremely difficult task due to the presence of the biological barrier that protects our brain, as well as the wide cell and hence neuronal heterogeneity of which it is made. We have demonstrated that in Huntington disease, a genetic disease that leads to a progressive neuronal loss, with the reduction of blood cholesterol at central level being one of the degenerating causes, the administration of blood cholesterol using this type of nanomedicines delivers important and significant results for the animal model of the disease”, professor Elena Cattaneo states. “Our expectations on this new project are to confirm and improve the results in order to conceive a new treatment option”, she concludes.

As far as the neurometabolic disease project is concerned, the funding by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo within the “Paediatric Research 2016-2018” Call for Application has been confirmed. Coordinated by the Woman and Child Health Department of the University of Padua and with the supervision of the Brains4Brain European Foundation, the “ Paediatric neurodegenerative disorders: optimizing nanoparticle-mediated strategy for brain treatment “ project provides for the optimisation of nanomedicines for the specific delivery of enzymes to the Central Nervous System, useful for the treatment of rare neurometabolic genetic diseased such as the Hurler and Hunter Syndrome. 

Doctor Rossella Tomanin is the person in charge of the project. “For years we have been collaborating with the TeFarTI nanomedicine group. More specifically, with regard to the diseases we deal with, such as Mucopolysaccharidosis and neurometabolic diseases, it is extremely important that an enzyme is delivered, the absence of which is due to a gene flow and is the main cause of the disease. Managing to move these molecules beyond the blood-brain barrier is an extremely important step, a potentially decisive turn to correct the evolution of the disease”, doctor Tomanin states.

These projects see Unimore as one of the main institutions involved and represent just one of the potentials of nanomedicine in the care area, which can be applied to various fields of medicine and pharmacology, from the treatment of cancer diseases until becoming highly specific diagnostic tools. 

Categorie: International - english

Articolo pubblicato da: Ufficio Stampa Unimore - ufficiostampa@unimore.it