Discover the innovative projects, presented during the 2013,2014,2015 and 2016 Catalyzer sessions, demonstrating real benefits for citizens, which received a BIOVISION Award.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is one of the major causative agents for hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in infants and children. Large epidemics of EV71 infection have principally been seen in Southeast Asian countries and in China. According to data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2,100,000 cases of EV71 infection and 569 deaths were reported in China in 2012, which is higher than in 2011 with 1,600,000 reported cases and 509 deaths. No vaccines or antiviral therapies are available for the prevention or treatment of EV71 infection. Development of antiviral agents for prophylactic and therapeutic use represents an urgent unmet medical need to control EV71 infections.
Aiming to foster the development of antiviral therapy against HFMD, we have developed a cell-based assay for screening the FDA approved drug library and identified Suramin, an approved pediatric drug as inhibitor of EV71 both in vitro and in vivo. The drug shows efficacy in mouse and monkey models and a favorable pharmacokinetic profile. Mechanism of action study indicates that Suramin is an entry inhibitor. Suramin can be developed rapidly because of its long historical safe use for the treatment of African sleeping sickness in children. The drug is currently not marketed in Asia preventing off-label. We are preparing the regulatory filing for a phase Ib study in China in 2014. We have filed a patent application for the use of Suramin for the treatment of enterovirus infections.
Repurposing of approved drugs can save developers almost 40% of the cost of bringing it to market by eliminating the need for additional toxicological and pharmacokinetic assessments, which in return could reduce the economic burden for those patients in developing countries. This approach is particularly valuable for severe infections caused by enteroviruses which show a high regional incidence in Asia and low incidence in Europe and the United States.
EyeWire is an online game designed to solve a real science problem – it aims to chart the billions of connections between neurons in the brain. Virtually anybody, anywhere with an internet connection can help scientists at MIT discover new types of neurons, how they connect to one another, and how those connections help determine how our minds work.
On EyeWire, players see 3D microscopic imaging of a cube of neural tissue, and “trace” branches throughout each cube in order to create a clear, computational reconstruction of the action neural structures in that sample.
The findings on EyeWire are already revolutionizing neuroscience: being able to see a small circuit in the retina has allowed the Seung lab to disprove the existing theory about motion-selective receptive fields in ganglion cell neurons, which had been put forth by people using a viral tracing technique. EyeWire allows visualization of neural tissue at a resolution that has never before been attainable.
Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) resistant bacterial pathogens are prevalent throughout the world and even in Indonesia. According to WHO, Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent. In 2011, 8.7 million people fell ill with TB and 1.4 million died from TB. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is present in virtually low- and middle-income countries countries.
Biotechnology approaches to discovering antibiotic lead compounds could take advantage of Indonesia's unique marine biosphere and underexplored resources as a source of new compounds with potential antibiotic activity. A combination of new screening technologies and Marine Natural Product (MNP) capacity in Indonesia provide a unique opportunity for new lead compound discovery.
One of the most serious bottlenecks in developing natural products from marine sources during the past decades has been the availability of biomass to gain sufficient amounts of substances for preclinical and clinical studies.
The aim of proposed project is the demonstration of sustainable exploitation of marine natural resources providing appropriate culture conditions for the underutilised group of marine fungi, especially those associated with marine invertebrates, thus enabling efficient production of marine natural products in, avoiding harm to the natural environment. The focus will be on the isolation and characterisation of new anti-MDR compounds from marine fungi, a group of organisms with high potential for biotechnological and industrial applications. This will be accomplished by the formation of a new strongly interacting research network comprising the scientific and technological actors, as well as multi-stakeholder partners, necessary to move along the added-value chain from the marine habitat to the drug candidate.
Multi Drug Resistantce has been regarded as a new threat world-wide and has been categorized as tropical neglected disease that could affect many people in the tropical regions. Finding a solution for this disease could give a significant impact on the management of tropical neglected diseases.
On the other hand, many of these people come from tropical countries that blessed with marine natural resources, including marine invertebrates known as the prolific producers of marine natural products. The study of microorganisms associated with marine invertebrates has been intensified in recent years. However, there is still a general neglect of this highly important field of research and development that not only will safe the lifes of many people but also protect their marine natural resources in an environmentally friendly manner.
>According to the WHO and the UN, non-communicable diseases, in particular diabetes, are the pandemic burden that governments of developing countries have to address in the XXIth century
>Chronic wound on diabetic foot leading to amputation is very frequent in Africa
>Early simple adequate treatment has proven to reduce by 80% the amputation rate
>UNFM, RAFT, Sanofi and the IDF have launched in 2013 the DAFI program (http://www.idf.org/diabetes-africa-foot-initiative).
>Training is done through the e-diabetes program (http://www.e-diabete.org/)
>But the key actor is the patient himself (information, support)
>As mobile phones are widely available in Africa, mDAFI will add strong value by creating a direct communication with the patient >mDAFI will be developed in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent and MNC
Implement mDIAFI and evaluate its added value in reducing the diabetic foot amputation rate.
>mDAFI will provide relevant mHealth tools such as:
>Public Health budget savings (comparison between DAFI+mDAFI and DAFI centres results)
LXRepair plans to be a leader in DNA Repair Enzyme Signature based theranostic tests.
DNA repair mechanisms are responsible for the resistance of certain tumors to cancer treatments and suspected to be at the origin of hypersensitivity reactions to radiotherapy. These DNA repair mechanisms are constituted by a set of complementary, highly organized and finely tuned protein pathways which are able to correct various types of DNA damage.
LXRepair has developed a new approach to measure DNA Repair enzyme activities to establish a DNA Repair Enzyme Signature of tumors, cells and tissues extracts. These proprietary tests are under biochips format. The main DNA Repair enzymatic activities are simultaneously and rapidly screened from a small size samples. Thanks to the multiplexed approach LXRepair tests are very powerful compared to current DNA repair tests.
LXRepair will develop programs with industrial partners to identify biomarkers of response and biomarkers of resistance to therapies in specific cancers focusing first on metastatic melanoma and leukemia.
In addition, on blood samples, LXRepair will establish the DNA Repair Enzyme Signature of cancer patients treated by radiotherapy to identify hypersensitivity biomarkers.
The goal is to develop diagnostic tests for personalized treatments.
LXRepair product line will be commercialized for research market through a manufacturing/distributor partner.
In parallel LXRepair will develop an in house service activity.
LXRepair will partner with pharmaceutical/diagnostic companies for theranostic development.
The tests developed by LXRepair will be key to a better management of patients’ treatments and in particular will avoid secondary adverse effects and therapeutic failures. Finally the whole society would benefit from the associated medical cost reduction.
Disturbances in hedonic and motivational processes play a major role in the pathophysiology of obesity. To date, experimental approaches for the study of emotional and motivational processing rely on subjective assessment scales. We have therefore developed a novel computer-generated tool challenging visual and temporal discrimination capacities for a quantitative and objective measurement of the hedonic and motivational state in humans. According to the task, the subjects were asked to view and to compare two stimuli, an appetitive one (food pictures) and its devalued counterpart (food pictures in greyscale), at each trial, assessing either the size (task A) or the duration of presentation (task B). We have shown that subjects perceived food images greater in size and shorter in duration of presentation when they are in fasting as compared to satiety.
The present project aims at using our novel tool to: i) assess the hedonic and motivational state in subjects with obesity, ii) compare their responses with healthy volunteers, and iii) establish relationships with biological markers known to be highly involved in the regulation of both emotional and motivational processes, such as endocannabinoids.
The present project should demonstrate that the behavioral tests validated in our laboratory are relevant experimental tools for the diagnostic/clinical assessment and for the phenotypic characterization of obese patients. The application of the test in the therapeutic context could add further information about the efficacy and relevance of the chosen therapy. Finally, our project will provide information on the biological substrates of hedonic and motivational impairments that might become target of therapy in obesity