European project to develop an innovative therapeutic strategy against epilepsy

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The biotech Iproteos participates in a project co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under a Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant (No. 645881). The project, called ECMED (Extracellular Matrix in Epileptogenesis), is aimed to design, validate and bring into practice new innovative therapeutic strategies to further the development of a treatment and a diagnostic approach for the management of epilepsy. It has a duration of three years and a budget of € 3.5 million. Around 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, according to WHO. This disease has a tremendous impact not only for the individual but also for the society, with an estimated cost of 13.8 billion euros in Europe in 2010. To date, epilepsy treatments are antiepileptic drugs and are addressed to treat the seizures. However, ECMED objective is to find a treatment that will modify the disease, from its origin. In order to achieve this goal, partners will focus on the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. It has been observed that ECM proteins have a key role in several neuronal processes that are fundamental in the epilepsy pathogenesis. These processes include: neural development and regeneration, synaptic plasticity, neuronal excitability and neural network activity. As Teresa Tarragó, CEO and co-founder of Iproteos says: "The contribution of Iproteos to the project will be an excellent opportunity to go further in test of our new drug, discovered by Iproteos, for the treatment of epilepsy within collaboration in an excellence network composed of leading European research groups in the field of epilepsy”. The consortium is formed by 11 organizations, including 9 public centres and 2 companies. It is composed by the University College London (UK), which is the Project leader, Fondazione Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italy); Deutsches Zentrum fuer Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (Germany); Itä-Suomen Yliopisto (Finland); Leibniz-Institut fuer Neurobiologie (Germany); Instytut Biologii Doswiadczalnej Im. M. Nenckiego Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Poland);  Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium); Academisch Medisch Centrum bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam (The Nederlands) and Unversité d'Aix Marseille (France), together with enterprises Iproteos (Spain) and Vect-Horus (France). For more information, please visit the ECMED web page.