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Research & Development Request

EUROSTARS - Looking for pharmaceutical SMEs specialized in the development of innovative pain treatments

Country of Origin: Belgium
Reference Number: RDBE20170918001
Publication Date: 18 September 2017


The unit of Development Genetics of Brussels-based University is looking to identify suitable SMEs committed to innovation in pain treatments for a joint Eurostars application. The unit seeks to assess the application potential of its research in this field. As the project coordinator, the role of the partner sought will be to provide expertise in drug discovery as well as industrial guidance.


Pain perception has evolved as a warning mechanism to alert organisms to tissue damage and dangerous environments, and is therefore essential for survival. In human, erroneous activation of the pain-sensing system, as in chronic and neuropathic pain, represents a major health burden with insufficient treatment options. However, new therapeutic options are currently being developed based on studies of a small number of individuals with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain (CIP). All causes of congenital painlessness affect nociceptors, the specialized neurons sensing tissue damage.
Prdm12 is a newly discovered evolutionarily conserved epigenetic regulator that has been found mutated in individual with Congenital Insensitivity to pain and that causes failure of nociceptor development. The research team's recent work has demonstrated that Prdm12 is required during mouse embryonic development for the differentiation and maturation of nociceptors, the neurons specialized in pain perception. Prdm12 is not only expressed in differentiating nociceptive progenitors but remains expressed in mature nociceptors, suggesting it may also play a role in pain perception in the adult.

The objective of this project is to validate Prdm12 as a new promising target for the development of novel methods of pain relief, by examining the consequences of its conditional deletion in mouse adult nociceptors at the molecular, electrophysiological and behavior level and the identification of its interacting partners required for its activity. The knowledge of the exact function and mode of action of Prdm12 in mature nociceptors may allow the development of new analgesic drugs. The support of an industrial partner focused in pain and with strong expertise in target validation and drug discovery is required to achieve this aim.

- Official deadline for the call: March 1, 2018 - 20:00 Brussels time
- Deadline for EoIs: January 31, 2018 20:00 Brussels time
- Anticipated duration of the project: 24-36 months

Requested partner

The university is looking for applying to Eurostars open call as the R&D project partner. It is seeking non-Belgian based SMEs with expertise in drug discovery and development for pain

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