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CTI awards grant for chemotherapy induced neutropenia research

2009-10-16, The University of Zürich and Med Discovery have received a grant from the CTI (Swiss federal agency for the promotion of innovation) to support their collaborative research on the use of protease inhibitors in chemotherapy induced neutropenia.

The CTI (Commission pour la Technologie et l'Innovation) has awarded a grant to Professor Adriano Fontana of the University of Zürich, in partnership with Med Discovery, for a collaborative project on neutropenia. This project will study the mode of action of Med Discovery’s modified serpin, MDPK67b, (protease inhibitor) which diminishes the effects of neutropenia provoked by treatment with chemotherapeutic agents. The grant is worth up to 175,000 CHF over two years.

According to Professor Fontana the new data on protection of apoptosis of neutrophils may indeed offer a new way to prevent neutropenia caused by drugs, viruses or autoimmune mechanisms. He added that it will be an interesting challenge to understand the mechanisms of protection at the molecular level.

“We are very pleased that the CTI has chosen to support our collaboration with Prof. Fontana on this exciting new indication for our lead molecule” said Dr. David Deperthes, CEO of Med Discovery. “We are lucky to be working with Prof. Fontana who is an illustrious immunologist at the University of Zürich, and we hope that our technology will offer a real improvement in the treatment of this dangerous side-effect of chemotherapy. The effects on myeloid cells will be investigated in vitro, followed by in vivo proof of concept studies in animal models. At the successful completion of this project, we expect to be ready to enter MDPK67b into clinical trials for this indication.”

For further information on Professor Fontana’s research:
http://www.zkf.uzh.ch/ResearchGroups/AlphabeticOrder/Fontana.html

For further information on the CTI:
www.bbt.admin.ch/kti/index.html

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