Projects 2005 - 2018

Mosaiques diagnostics is member/participant of a multitude of respectable consortia and research projects and during our time in the field of clinical proteomics we achieved a valued position in several renowned scientific networks.

 

35.

PROCEED

Proteomics for Chronic Kidney Disease Therapy

The social and financial burden that chronic kidney disease (CKD) imposes on European countries is significant. Currently 16.95% of the global population suffers from CKD. The prevalence of the disease has increased steadily during the previous decades and it is expected to reach alarming rates in the near future. It is thus apparent that an effective treatment for CKD will have a positive social and financial impact. The pathological basis of CKD is complex and the molecular mechanisms responsible for the onset and progression of the disease have not been fully elucidated. Their elucidation will enable the identification of specific therapeutic targets. Currently there are significant -omics datasets available on CKD deposited in databases. However, a marked deficiency of these datasets is the scarcity of kidney tissue proteomics data. PROCEED targets the mapping of kidney tissue proteomics changes in association to CKD phenotypes, integration of –omics datasets with clinical data by systems biology approaches, and subsequently prediction of novel therapeutic targets.

 

34.

PCaProTreat

Multi-omics molecular treatment targets for Prostate Cancer

The PCaProTreat Project targets on improving the Prostate Cancer (PCa) management and focuses on the identification of novel therapeutic targets for patients with an advanced disease stage. It has been demonstrated that the current medical practice has led to frequent over-treatment of patients exhibiting slow growing PCa (unlikely to progress in the absence of treatment), while for metastatic castration resistant patients that immediate treatment is required, no effective strategies are available. Therefore, new therapeutic options are required for advanced PCa. To address this clinical demand, PCaProTreat is focused on the comprehensive characterisation of the molecular background of PCa progression, based on which molecularly-driven therapeutic targets can be defined.

 

33.

CaReSyAn

Combatting the CardioRenal Syndrome: towards an integrative Analysis to reduce cardiovascular burden in chronic kidney disease

Successfully combatting a complex disease requires multi-disciplinary and methodically well-trained scientists. CaReSyAn strives to accomplish exactly this: we will train scientists to successfully integrate proteomics, clinical, experimental and bioinformatical analyses to enhance the understanding, diagnosis and therapy of the cardiorenal syndrome (CRS). CRS comprises disorders of the heart, vessels and kidneys, including the increased development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). With ~45% of all deaths in CKD patients caused by CVD, the socio-economic burden of CRS is extremely high.

 

32.

TheranOMICS

Integration of high resolution -OMICS datasets towards personalized therapy in bladder cancer

"TheranOMICS Project aims at the recruitment of a highly-qualified research Associate to support the Innovation Business Idea of Mosaiques diagnostics GmbH (MOS). The Associate is expected to have expertise in statistics, computer science and biology. The objective is the integration of high resolution bladder cancer (BC) –omics datasets that are available at MOS to establish molecular profiles which can predict disease outcome and treatment response. The tasks include application of state-of-the-art bioinformatics tools in the development of two predictive tools that together will be offered as a companion test to assist patient stratification and predict response in BC drug development. The first tool will be based on molecular features associated with the clinical status and will enable the stratification of BC patients to those with the higher probability to progress. The second tool will be built on molecules/biomarkers associated with drug response and will enable to prediction of success of chemotherapy, as a test case study. MOS Business Innovation Idea is the development of the above predictive tools, to be served as a ""business-to-business"" product for pharmaceutical companies developing Bladder Cancer (BC) drugs.

 

31.

BioMedBC

Molecular profiling of Bladder Cancer to support personalized medicine

BioMedBC Proposal is focused on improving the patient management of Bladder Cancer (BC). BC presents with the highest recurrence rate and the highest associated costs of all cancers. Due to the intrinsic heterogeneity, the investigated drugs in clinical trials, cannot be easily introduced in the clinical practice. Molecular profiles/ biomarkers (BM) with predictive potential are required to enable patient stratification. The BioMedBC proposal aims at the application of systems biology and cross-omics data integration methodologies to achieve: a) the molecular characterization of BC and b) develop signatures to predict the clinical outcome. To achieve these goals, integration of: i) high resolution proteomics datasets (planned to be acquired within BioMedBC), ii) existing datasets that were obtained in previous EU collaborative projects and iii) publicly available transcriptomics data, will be conducted, focusing on the molecular characterization of BC.

 

30.

TransPot

Translational Research Network in Prostate Cancer

The Translational Research Network for Prostate Cancer (TransPot) program adopts an innovative, multidisciplinary approach, providing highly sought-after, effective solutions for incurable prostate cancer (PC).

The TransPot scientific objective is to obtain an unmatched depth of molecular, mechanistic and informatics systems-level disease understanding in order to improve the prognosis and treatment of lethal PC, aimed to (i) provide important insights into molecular mechanisms driving treatment resistant PC including castrate-resistant PC (CRPC), (ii) identify novel therapeutic targets, (iii) develop and validate predictive models for disease progression, prognosis and responsiveness to current and novel (co-)treatment options, and (iv) provide superior, clinically relevant tools and biomarker signatures for personalising and optimising CRPC therapy.
 

29.

PRETREAT

PRoteome-based assessment of vascular disease for the Establishment of a Translational REsearch plATform

Cardiovascular disease (VD) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Europe and worldwide. The objective of the PRETREAT consortium is to generate a joint SME/academic European preclinical platform for providing services for detection of VD and drug development. This platform will combine the use of urinary and/or blood peptidomics in humans and in preclinical animal models of VD, together with bioinformatics and systems biology, in order to better detect, stratify and decipher the molecular mechanisms of VD, develop new animal models with high similarity to human disease, and provide new tools for obtaining information on novel drug targets.

 

28.

RENALTRACT

The renal tract (kidneys, the ureters, bladder) is a complex organ system crucial for maintaining the body homeostasis. This organ system arises from different precursor pools through a complex program of patterning, differentiation and morphogenesis in embryonic development. Alteration of this program leads to renal tract malformations (RTM) that are incompatible with a healthy life. While some of these RTM can be surgically corrected, others develop into chronic entities that may lead to renal failure; the burden for the patients and for the socio-economic impact for the health systems is immense. Although congenital RTM are amongst the most frequent human birth defects, the different programs that direct normal and pathological development have remained poorly understood. The RENALTRACT project aims to address these deficits and provide a better understanding of the programs that underlie RTM and provide solutions to clinical problems. This shall be achieved by using a multidisciplinary team approach with partners working in complementary disciplines (developmental biology, renal physiology, Omics, clinical medicine).

 

27.

Chromatin3D: Chromatin Dynamics in Development and Disease

...... a Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions Innovative Training Network

Most, if not all, DNA-dependent transactions must function within the context of chromatin. To do so, chromatin fibres must reversibly alternate between compact and relaxed structural states. The latter ensures that the underlying DNA sequences are properly exposed to protein complexes involved in transcription and replication, recombination or repair. Defects in DNA-templated processes are thought to be causal to a number of detrimental pathologies, including cancer.

The basic unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, which is composed of two copies of the histones H2A, H2B, H3 and H4 wrapped with 146 bp of DNA. Based on the decondensed beads-on-a-string configuration of repeating nucleosome units, complex interactions between the main units can result in the progressive condensation of the structure. Chromatin’s ability for condensation is regulated in part by post-translational modifications of the N-terminal tails of histones, including acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation and ubiquitination. Modifications of the histone tails can influence both internucleosomal and chromatin fibres interactions. They can also facilitate the recruitment of chromatin associated proteins and chromatin remodelling complexes. Thus the chromatin structure is characterized by the degree of chromatin condensation, the location within the nuclear architecture and the type of histone modifications.

 

26.

BioGuidePCa

Biomarker Guided Prostate Cancer Management

The BioGuidePCa project is designed to validate previously reported biomarkers for prostate cancer (PCa) management during surveillance of early and advanced PCa. With availability of PSA-screening an increase of insignificant PCa has been observed leading to over-diagnosis and overtreatment. Consequently active surveillance (AS) is an alternative to immediate therapy. AS is expectant management with curative intervention only for those patients with local tumor progression. Neuhaus et. al reported a peptide panel, derived from seminal plasma for the estimation of PCa aggressiveness. A main objective of the project is the validation of these biomarkers in regards of its use in AS. On the other hand, advanced metastasized PCa is still a deadly disease. The majority of patients initially responding to therapy progress after a median duration of 30 months. Therapy of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) relies on hormone therapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy.

 

25.

SYSVASC

Asymptomatic vascular damage accumulates for years before patients are identified and subjected to therapeutic measures. The limited knowledge on early vascular disease pathophysiology is reflected in the lack of therapeutic options. SysVasc aims to overcome this limitation by mounting a comprehensive systems medicine approach to elucidate pathological mechanisms, which will yield molecular targets for therapeutic intervention.
The consortium is based on established multidisciplinary European research networks, including specialists in pre-clinical and clinical research, omics technologies, and systems biology from research intensive SMEs and academia; partners synergistically provide access to an extensive number of selected population-based cohorts and associated datasets, cutting edge modeling and simulation methods, and established cardiovascular disease (CVD) animal models and patient cohorts.

 

24.

TransBioBC

Translation of novel Biomarkers for Bladder Cancer for clinical outcome prediction

Currently, clinical diagnosis and monitoring of bladder cancer (BC) relies on invasive, highly costly cystoscopy. Additionally, due to high recurrence rates BC treatment is associated with frequent follow-up of patients, making BC one of the most costly types of cancer in terms of management cost. Thus there is a clear clinical need for the development of new approaches for early detection of recurrence and progression.
Our proposal is based on the identification of novel biomarkers (BM) for BC recurrence and progression in urine and powerful technological platforms as extensive foreground work of the involved partners in the framework of FP7 EU projects DECanBio and GENINCA. The objective of TransBioBC is to translate this foreground work in the field of BC and to specifically employ the involved technologies (CE-MS and micro-ELISA), represented by the participating SMEs, for the development of non-invasive urine tests for routine monitoring of BC recurrence and progression. Our project uniquely integrates leading BC clinical experts with experts on proteome analysis and high throughput immunoassay development in an implementation-oriented workflow. Strict monitoring of assay analytical performance, and properly collected and well characterized clinical samples from existing sufficiently powered BC cohorts are combined with in-depth knowledge of regulatory requirements, analysis approaches to define added value and well designed business plans including multi-stakeholder dissemination and exploitation plans.
Collectively, TransBioBC will provide strong evidence for utility of the new BM directly in BC clinical management and as a secondary aim for usage in clinical trials and drug development.

 

23.

iMode-CKD

Clinical and system –omics for the identification of the MOlecular DEterminants of established Chronic Kidney Disease

iMODE-CKD integrates multi-disciplinary expertise in proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, bioinformatics, pathology, and clinical science from leading academic and industrial investigators, establishing a unique training platform on biomarker research and Systems Biology. Special emphasis is placed on the application of a wide range of –omics and bioinformatics techniques to clinical research. This educational scope is placed in the context of a significant research objective: to improve quality of life of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and diminish the severe health and economic burden imposed by this disease, by providing better diagnostic and prognostic means. Established CKD has been selected based on the accumulation of existing molecular data, and complementarity to active European programs focusing on early stage CKD in the context of diabetes and hypertension, in which participants of the consortium are actively involved.

 

22.

BIOMARGIN

Whether you are a patient, a scientist, a company or a foundation involved in renal transplantation, we hope that you can find here all information you need about our European Commission -  supported programme “BIOMARGIN”, aiming at discovering and validating robust non-invasive biomarkers for the follow  up of renal grafts. In renal allograft recipients, 10-year graft survival has not improved over the past decades. Histological examination of graft biopsies has long been the gold standard to confirm graft injuries, but biopsies are invasive and histological grading is not very robust. There is thus a need for robust, non-invasive methods to predict and diagnose acute and chronic graft lesions, to improve patient treatment, quality of life and long-term graft survival.

 

21.


HOMAGE

HOMAGE (Heart OMics in AGEing) regroups a unique team of experts from both academia and industry sectors to investigate heart failure (HF). HOMAGE aims at using “omics”-based technologies to identify biomarkers that reflect specific pathological pathways leading to HF, validate the predictive value of these biomarkers, and demonstrate the feasibility of an “omics”-based approach for patient stratification for personalised medicine. This approach can be beneficial in the management of HF.

 

20.

Frailomic

The FRAILOMIC initiative is a large scale research project aiming to identify the factors that turn frailty into disability.

The anticipated rise in the number of older people this century will inevitably be accompanied by an increase in the number of people with disabilities. Frailty, which comprises changes associated with ageing and chronic disease, usually precedes disability. Detecting frailty and intervening before it becomes disabling is more and more necessary as the population ages. Testing the clinical utility of the existing definition of frailty using a combination of clinical and laboratory biomarkers is pivotal.

The FRAILOMIC initiative is designed to use biomarkers to determine the factors that turn frailty into disability. The main objective is to develop clinical instruments to predict the risk of frailty, improve the diagnostic accuracy of frailty in day-to-day practice, and to assess the prognosis of frailty in terms of disability and other adverse outcomes.

Levels of blood and urine biomarkers will be measured in approximately 75,000 participants. These laboratory biomarkers will be combined with clinical biomarkers obtained from the same cohort to develop predictive, diagnostic and prognostic models in both the older general population and those people with attributes that confer a higher risk of frailty (e.g., cardiovascular risk factors). A selected set of biomarkers will be validated prospectively and assessed to find best fit models, which will guide the development of ready-to-use kits to be used in the clinical setting.

 

19.

 

 

TranCYST

TranCYST is a translational Research and Training Network focussing on Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease.
The Training Network’s mission is to provide a translational multidisciplinary Research Training Programme for talented young researchers, so as to prepare them for leading roles in Polycystic Kidney Disease research in European academia and industry. The TranCyst network includes 5 European academic groups involved in PKD research with a wide range of expertise ranging from basic scientists to clinical investigators, complemented with 2 private sector (SME) partners with their specific expertise. All partners apply innovative and state-of-the-art methodologies in their research.

 

18.

CodeAge

Ageing is an inexorable homeostatic failure of largely unknown aetiology that leads to increased vulnerability to disease limiting the quality of life in the elderly and creating high costs to the society. Until recently, the daunting complexity of the ageing process, the conspicuous lack of tools to study it, and a dearth of experimentally tractable model systems have greatly hindered any hypothesis-driven reductionist approaches to understand the molecular basis of ageing. Whereas molecular and cellular damage is thought to be a cause of ageing and age-related pathologies, little is known about the molecular events that underlie ageing or determine longevity. CodAge (Chronic DNA damage in Ageing) is an integrated approach in studying the role of Chronic DNA damage in Ageing and age-related pathology.

 

17.

BCMolMed

BCMolMed (Molecular Medicine for Bladder Cancer) integrates complementary and multi-disciplinary expertise of two main (research-intensive SME-academia) and five associate partners with the objective to generate a state of the art training platform on application-oriented biomarker research and systems biology. Special emphasis is placed on the efficient employment of proteomics and bioinformatics techniques to clinical research, and understanding clinical phenotypes in a spherical manner, in line to main EU research priorities. Research is applied to the identification of biomarkers and molecular determinants of bladder cancer recurrence and invasiveness, (with emphasis on extracellular matrix proteins), due to its clinical significance and availability of molecular data.This integrative approach can be substantially beneficial and is expected to generate effective researchers and entrepreneurs in the fields of biomarker and drug target while providing valuable insight in bladder cancer molecular pathology and validated biomarkers.

 

16.

EURenOmics

EURenOmics will integrate several established consortia devoted to rare kidney diseases with eminent need and potential for diagnostic and therapeutic progress (i.e. steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome, membranous nephropathy, tubulopathies, complement disorders such a haemolytic uraemic syndrome, and congenital kidney malformations). The Consortium has access to the largest clinical cohorts assembled to date (collectively >10,000 patients) with detailed phenotypic information and comprehensive biorepositories containing DNA, blood, urine, amniotic fluid and kidney tissue. The project aims to (1) identify the genetic and epigenetic causes and modifiers of disease and their molecular pathways; (2) define a novel mechanistic disease ontology beyond phenotypical or morphological description; (3) develop innovative technologies allowing rapid diagnostic testing; (4) discover and validate biomarkers of disease activity, prognosis and treatment responses; and (5) develop in vitro and in vivo disease models and apply high-throughput compound library screening.

 

15.

PRIORITY

EURenOmics will integrate several established consortia devoted to rare kidney diseases with eminent need and potential for diagnostic and therapeutic progress (i.e. steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome, membranous nephropathy, tubulopathies, complement disorders such a haemolytic uraemic syndrome, and congenital kidney malformations). The Consortium has access to the largest clinical cohorts assembled to date (collectively >10,000 patients) with detailed phenotypic information and comprehensive biorepositories containing DNA, blood, urine, amniotic fluid and kidney tissue. The project aims to (1) identify the genetic and epigenetic causes and modifiers of disease and their molecular pathways; (2) define a novel mechanistic disease ontology beyond phenotypical or morphological description; (3) develop innovative technologies allowing rapid diagnostic testing; (4) discover and validate biomarkers of disease activity, prognosis and treatment responses; and (5) develop in vitro and in vivo disease models and apply high-throughput compound library screening.

 

14.

EuroKup - European Kidney and Urine Proteomics

Kidney diseases constitute a major health threat in all societies. Proteomics is the large-scale analysis of the proteins of biological samples. Application of proteomics methodologies in the investigation of renal diseases will catalyze the development of optimal diagnostic and prognostic tests. Despite preliminary successful efforts, the interactions between the multidisciplinary teams of scientists working on kidney diseases and proteomics are still limited in Europe. EUROKUP will foster the generation of a strong and growing multi disciplinary network of scientists from at least 20 European countries, focusing on renal and urine proteomics. The objectives of the Action focus on the identification of reference clinical centers for major kidney diseases and establishment of uniform clinical databases, standardization and optimization of procedures, integration of data to systems biology approaches and dissemination of information for application to diagnostic/prognostic procedures. Multiple scientific, technological and societal benefits to the European Union are expected, including but not limited to setting the urgently needed standards for clinical proteomics and translational research and improving the clinical situation in chronic kidney diseases.

 

13.

MASCARA

EU-MASCARA is a collaborative project that aims to improve diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases and prediction of cardiovascular risk by analysing a panel of biomarkers, including genetic, proteomic and metabolomic markers together with markers of inflammation, oxidative stress and cardiac remodelling. EU-MASCARA will rigorously validate biomarkers that have been proposed to be associated with cardiovascular disease and risk across different disease entities and also in independent general population samples. The most robust biomarkers will be implemented in novel biochip based assays for clinical use. The consortium has partners based in the UK, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain (total 15) and the project is due to last for 4 years.

 

12.

GerontoSys NephAge

NephAge is composed of 10 research groups who are taking an interdisciplinary approach to address key issues related to changes in kidney function during the aging process. The groups originate from a number of institutes including the Renal medicine division of the University Hospital Freiburg, the BIOSS excellence cluster and the FRIAS LifeNet School reflecting the University’s Life Science focus on Systems Biology and a long standing tradition in kidney research.

 

11.

HEPACUTE

Host and viral factors in acute hepatitis C

Chronic hepatitis C is one of the most common chronic viral infections of humans and a major cause of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer. Still about 4 million new infections occur world-wide each year with 50-85% of patients progressing to chronic hepatitis C. Currently there is no marker to predict spontaneous viral clearance and to guide treatment decisions.
The major objectives of the HepaCute proposal are to develop biomarkers predicting the outcome of acute hepatitis C, improving the management of the related patients and thus decreasing the health burden of hepatitis C in Europe and Mediterranean partner countries (MPC).
The HepaCute consortium has evolved from a series of EC-funded projects on hepatitis C (HCVacc/HepCvax/Virgil/HEPACIVAC) and consists of world leading experts in HCV epidemiology, immunology, and virology, including partners from Egypt and Morocco, who have strongly influenced the current management of patients with acute hepatitis C in their respective regions, and contributed considerably to our understanding of mechanisms of spontaneous viral clearance. The HepaCute proposal is closely connected to ongoing national, European, and Egyptian networks on HCV research (HepNet, EASL, STDF), which will support HepaCute to make it a success.Together with another pertinent EU-funded research project, SPHINX, it actively contributes to coordinating EU-funded hepatitis C research with pertinent research projects funded in the MCP countries, in particular with hepatitis research projects funded under the Egyptian Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF).

 

10.

SHIPREC PROJECT

Salmonella are Gramnegative bacterial pathogens capable of infecting a wide range of hosts, including humans, pigs, cows, chicken and even plants. Salmonella typhimurium is the causative agent of various human and animal diseases, reaching from enteritis to typhoid fever. In the SHIPREC project, we propose to identify protein-protein interactions and pathways as a means to understand the crosstalk between plant, animal or human hosts and Salmonella.

 

9.

PROTOCLIN

The number of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing steadily due to extended life expectancy, long lasting diabetes and obesity. Early unambiguous detection of patients at risk is both a clinical and scientific challenge. Capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry (CE-MS), developed by Mosaiques Diagnostics (MD, SME, Germany), has been shown to be an excellent tool for the discovery and validation of urinary biomarkers of CKD. The aim of this project is to advance CE-MS technology in biomarker discovery and direct clinical applications alike through a) establishing the appropriate tools for its portability and b) through its combination with MALDI TOF MS, as a pre-CE-MS high throughput screening tool, in the form of an integrated MS diagnostic platform. Participating partners are highly complementary: the research intensive participating SME (MD) being the inventor of and expert on CE-MS, BRFAA bringing expertise on MALDI TOF MS profiling and Inserm having extensively collaborated with MD and recently acquired CE-MS being an excellent b-site for the development of tools for CE-MS portability.

 

8.

SysKid - A Collaborative research Project to Fight Chronic Kidney Disease

SysKid (Systems Biology towards Novel Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis and Treatment) a large-scale integrating European research project, aims at understanding chronic kidney disease in the context of diabetes and hypertension.
 

7.


European Uremic Toxin (EUTox) Work Group of the ESAO

The European Society of Artificial Organs (ESAO) decided to install work groups in several areas of progress in the field of artificial organs, such as artificial liver, heart support, apheresis and adsorption, tissue engineering, education and uremic toxins. Starting in October 1999, the European Uremic Toxins (EUTox) Work Group was launched by three of the members (R.Vanholder, B.G.Stegmayr and U.Baurmeister). In September 2000, at the occasion of the 27th ESAO-meeting in Lausanne, the Work Group convened for its first meeting. EUTox is also an endorsed Work Group of the European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Association ( go forwardERA-EDTA) (President 2018: Carmine Zoccali).

 

6.


Geninca

The collaborative EU project GENINCA focuses on novel methods of early diagnosis and treatment for cancer of colon and liver.

We will use highly sophisticated methods to characterise specific tissue samples undergoing the very early steps in the erosion of healthy cells. The tumour stem cells present within these lesions will be subjected to comprehensive molecular analysis. This will lead to a better understanding of their nascency and their characteristics which in turn will enable the development of new therapies aimed at specifically eradicating these cells and therefore to treating cancer more effectively.

 

5.

STEMDIAGNOSTICS

Over 7000 allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) are carried out each year in Europe alone, as a treatment for leukaemia and lymphoma. Techniques and cure rates are improving but the overall survival rate remains between 40-60%. This project will develop new proteomic, biological and genomic tests and tools for early diagnosis and monitoring of patient response to novel therapeutics for the most severe complication of HSCT; graft versus host disease (GvHD) and will bring to the clinic a new generation of diagnostics that will significantly improve HSCT therapy and patient outcome. The Consortium unites 5 European SMEs with expertise and markets in genomic and proteomic testing, diagnostic assay development and biochips, with clinical partners selected for their world leading research in HSCT and access to clinical samples and patient groups. The project will focus on the role of relevant genes and biomarkers associated with acute and chronic GvHD, using retrospective samples from established biobanks and prospective clinical trials to: 1) Identify novel bio and genomic markers for diagnostics 2) Develop novel diagnostic tools using genomics, proteomics, in vitro bioassays and biochips 3) Test the new diagnostics in animal models & on clinical samples 4) Exploit the new tools for commercial use The above will be realised by: ' Development of diagnostic tests using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses (SME IMGM), based on results from previous EC funded research (EUROBANK, TRANSEUROPE). - Using proteomics via mass spectrometry (evaluation/development of diagnostic patterns (SME MOSAIQUES), ELISA kits (SME APOTECH) and protein biochip prototypes (SME ORLA), for the development of fast high throughput technologies. - Development of novel reagents for monitoring graft versus leukaemia, GvHD and targeted therapy (SME MULTIMUNE; SME NASCACELL). - Comparative studies in an autoimmune disease model of inflammation; rheumatoid arthritis.

 

4.

InGenious HyperCare

The InGenious HyperCare Network of Excellence’s goal is that of integrating complementary but still fragmented experience in the mechanisms of blood pressure control and hypertension development, in phenotyping initiation and progression of organ damage and in exploring genetics, genomics and proteomics of proneness to hypertension and hypertension-related cardiovascular disease. A better prevention of hypertension and its cardiovascular consequences is an essential public health goal in Europe, where cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of mortality and morbility. The Network plans to integrate the research efforts of 31 research teams (including a SME) and 1 SME experienced in EC project management. A powerful instrument of integration will be the Programme of Joint Research Activities. A first group of research packages will be addressed to Mechanomics of Hypertension, i.e. identifying genetic, genomic and proteomic markers of disturbances in the major mechanisms (autonomic control, inflammation and oxidative stress, sodium handling) controlling blood pressure, as indicators of the risk of becoming hypertensive. The second group of research packages will be addressed to Mechanomics of Hypertension-Related Diseases, i.e. identifying the genetic, genomic and proteomic markers of the risk of developing a hypertension-related event (stroke, renal dysfunction, heart failure). Through these activities the Network will build up large integrated platforms of common phenotypes, genotypes and proteomic data in hypertensives, and assemble unique sets of comprehensive databases. Spreading of excellence beyond the Network will be done with the support of the European Society of Hypertension. The activity of the Network will continue after end of the EC funding, with the objective of contributing better diagnostic tools to identify subjects prone to hypertension, and patients prone to hypertension complications, with obvious benefits for health care in Europe.

 

3.

INCA

The role of chronic INfections in the development of CAncer

Approximately 17% of human cancer cases occurring world-wide are caused by one of 6 human viruses, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Epstein Barr virus (EBV), Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8; Kaposi´s sarcoma herpesvir us) and Human T- cell leukemia virus I (HTLV-I). In addition, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the infectious agent responsible for the second highest number of infection-associated cancers and additional infectious etiologies of cancer are likely to e xist. The INCA Integrated Project aims towards a better understanding of (1) the molecular and cellular circuits involved in the development of cancers caused by these infectious agents, (2) the mechanisms of long-term persistence of these infectious agent s in apparently healthy hosts, and (3) which genetic factors contribute to cancer development. Based on this knowledge INCA will develop and validate (4) animal models to study chronic inflammation and cancer progression, and (5) new diagnostic procedures for the identification of infected individuals likely to develop infection-associated malignancies.

 

2.

PREDICTIONS

The Identification of Risk Factors for the Development of Diabetic Nephropathy: The PREDICTIONS Project

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is one of the most severe and life-threatening complications of diabetes mellitus. About 30% of patients with type 2 diabetes will eventually develop DN. Duration of diabetes as well as glycaemicand blood pressure control do not s ufficiently explain the risk of developing DN. About 31 genes have been reported to possibly contribute to DN susceptibility. A major susceptibility gene was mapped to 18q and a sequence variant in the CNDP1 gene was identified to cause a 3-fold elevated risk of DN. On the proteomic level, protein modifications by advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are known to be sufficient to cause DN. AGEs are closely linked to reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Different variables promise to have the poten tial of serving as biomarkers with high predictive value for DN risk assessment. To achieve the goals of the programme calling for identification of pathophysiological relevant genes and biomarkers correlated with onset, progression and response to therapy of DN, the project focuses on prospective research and case-control studies to: - Systematically re-evaluate available genetic data - Perform functional genomics for studying effects of gene variants - Study the influence of AGEs, ROS and carnosine a nd further predictive biomarkers. The latter will be realized both on the genomic (expression profiling in kidney biopsies) and proteomic level (mass-spectometry). In 3 multivariate analyses these markers will be correlated with the success of treatment wi th ACE inhibitors, irbesartan, and benfotiamine. A risk model will be developed for use by clinicians, who will evaluate the model prospectively in the future. This proposal will have significant impact on patient care. It is expected to provide scientif ic evidence for novel individualized therapeutic approaches. Although there is a focus on DN, the effects of DN-related markers on retinopathy will also be studied.

 

1.

 

ERA-NET EURON

Research into the human brain and its diseases is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. Among the many diseases affecting health, disorders of the brain are major causes for impaired quality of life and increasing health care costs. Despite some progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of various neurological and psychiatric disorders, research is still far from being able to offer solutions to conquer them. In addition, the development of curative treatments or prevention strategies has not been, to date, very successful. A concerted effort of funding organisations and of research groups in this area, is thus needed to reach the long term goal of curing patients with disorders of the brain and nervous system, and helping their relatives.
Due to the importance of research in the area of brain diseases, a variety of independent national and regional funding programmes exist in most countries. NEURON Cofund avoids the problems of fragmentation in the national efforts by co-ordinating national and regional programmes for disease-related neuroscience research. This includes the 27 participating funding organisations and associated partners across Europe, Israel, and Canada.