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Eurostars: Búsqueda de socio industrial o académico con experiencia en modelos in vivo de esclerosis múltiple y en modelos de mielinización in vitro


Búsqueda de socios
Una empresa suiza de biotecnología ha identificado una familia de compuestos prometedores para el desarrollo de productos terapéuticos para la esclerosis múltiple. El compuesto es un nuevo modulador de CXCR7 selectivo y potente. Se buscan socios académicos e industriales para participar en un proyecto Eurostars y continuar con el desarrollo de los compuestos. Los socios deben disponer de un modelo in vitro de mielinización para seleccionar los mejores compuestos y know-how para probar el compuesto en diferentes modelos in vivo de esclerosis múltiple.


Eurostars: partner from industry or academia with experience in multiple sclerosis in vivo models and in vitro myelination models sought
A Swiss biotech company identified a family of promising compounds for the development of multiple sclerosis therapeutics. The lead compound is a novel, selective and potent CXCR7 modulator. The company is seeking industry and academia partners to apply for Eurostars funding to further develop the compounds. The partners should have an in vitro model of myelination suitable to screen the best compounds and the know-how to test the lead compound in different multiple sclerosis in vivo models.
MS (multiple sclerosis) is a disease, in which the protective sheath (myelin) of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage causes nerve impulses to and from the brain and spinal cord to be disrupted, resulting in a wide range of symptoms, including physical and mental problems. The range of symptoms and the timing of their appearance vary greatly between people.
Leukocyte infiltration and plaques of demyelination in the brain and spinal cord of patients are a hallmark of MS. There is a large unmet medical need for safer and more efficacious therapies that reduce local inflammation and enhance myelin regeneration without causing severe immunosuppressant systemic effects.

A Swiss biotech company has identified a family of promising CXCR7 (CXC-Motiv-chemokine receptor 7) modulators (functional antagonists) by screening their proprietary PEM (protein epitope mimetics) library. The PEM compounds are fully synthetic cyclic peptide-like molecules mimicking protein structures involved in PPI (protein-protein interactions). PEMs are especially adapted to bind to chemokine receptors that involve large surface PPI. The lead compound is a novel, potent and selective CXCR7 modulator exhibiting favorable drug-like properties. It showed equivalent efficacy in an animal model of MS, EAE (the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) model, compared to the MS benchmark drug Fingolimod in semi-therapeutic settings.

The Swiss company, as others, has observed that inhibiting CXCR7 function in vivo increased CXCL12 (C-X-C motif chemokine 12) levels and led to inhibition of inflammatory cell infiltration and promotion of oligodendrocyte progenitor cell proliferation and maturation in oligodendrocytes that induce axon myelination. The company would like to further develop the CXCR7 receptor modulator with its unique proprieties of both enhancing remyelination and targeting inflammation.

The 5 aims of the Eurostars research project are 1. the development of in vitro assays addressing the CXCR7 mechanism of action in MS, 2. the development of an in vitro assay of myelination, 3. the detailed in vitro compound characterization and result-guided compound optimization, 4. the optimization of pharmacokinetic (PK) and ADMET proprieties and 5. the proof-of-principle in appropriate models of MS and de/re-myelination.

The Swiss SME requires partners who can develop assays to observe the induction of myelination in a suitable format for screening libraries of 96 compounds. The results from the collaborative efforts would thus provide the lead compound with a competitive edge (aim 2).
Potential partners would perform studies to examine the efficacy of the lead molecule in one or more of the following models: (a) a Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein EAE model, (b) a Relapsing-Remitting (RR) EAE model, (c) a Cuprizone induced model of demyelination. Analyzing the lead compound in these three complementary models would help validate the mode-of-action of the lead and find the optimal therapeutic dosing strategy to achieve at least as good an efficacy as Fingolimod, which will serve as the relevant control (aim 5).

The Swiss company has the intention to apply for funding in the frame of the Eureka/Eurostar funding programme ( They are seeking partners from Eurostar member countries. The project is expected to run for 3 years or more. Eurostars supports international innovative projects led by R-Y-D-performing SMEs.
The next deadline for Eurostar application is 18 February 2016. The deadline for expression of interests is December 31, 2015.

Partner sought

Partner Sought:
The specific area of activity of the partner: The company is more oriented towards partnering with service providers and/or academic institutions. In general, they seek partners who have the technical know-how and scientific background in multiple sclerosis models. The tasks to be performed by the partner sought: A partner, especially a service provider or research group with an in vitro model of myelination, whereby the Swiss company´s best compounds can be screened according to the CXCR7 mode of action. Contract research organisations or research groups that have multiple MS models suitable to test the lead compound and co-develop the compound.
Type of Partnership Considered:


Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME 50-249
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:



Coordinator Required:
Deadline for Call:
Project Duration: