Pursuant to the decision of The National Research, Development, and Innovation Office made on December 12, 2019, in the application of supporting the R+D+I activities of companies, the Vascular Venture Kft won the support of 322,219,918 HUF. The total cost is 612,051,295 Ft, the intensity of the support is 52.65 %.
Application identification number: 2019-1.1.1-PIACI-KFI-2019-00127
Name: The development of new, KCNA3 channel specified, autoimmune mechanism blocking molecules
Chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases impose a severe burden on society. These diseases are often caused by the overperformance of one type of an immune cell, more precisely, the effector memory T-cells (Tem). Current treatments are based on the general hindrance of the inflammation; however, this treatment may lead to immunodeficient conditions. Consequently, there is a demand for a selective treatment that inhibits the operation of the pathologically overperforming T-cells. Potassium channels play an important role in the proper operation of T-cells. Predominantly, the KCNA3 type of potassium channels can be found on permanently activated autoimmune Tems, while on other T-cell subtypes, one can find rather Kca3.1 potassium channels. Therefore, a medication that only inhibits the operation of the KCNA3 but not the other potassium channels’ operation may play a significant role in an explicit and side-effect-free treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
We aim to produce an inhibitor developed by guided evolution. By doing so, we produce millions of new variants by combining animal toxins already existing in nature, and from these variants, we select with guided evolution those molecules that specifically connect to KCNA3 channels. In this manner, we take advantage of the diversity that can be found in nature to develop molecules solely consisting of natural components. Within the framework of the project, we study the effectiveness of the identified molecule(s) in the autoimmune disease model(s) of rodents.
The research group consists of pharmacologists, molecular biologists, cell biologists and immunologists who have gained experience at prestigious national and international institutions: at the National Institutes of Health in the United States, in the department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, at Yale University, at Harvard University, in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and at the Karolinska Institution in Sweden. Besides its resources, the research group relies on cooperating with local working groups and companies skilled in life sciences and biotechnology.
The aim and the expected result of the 3-year-long research may be an investment opportunity for innovative pharmaceuticals and for development of clinical medicines.
The project’s scheduled date for completion: 12/31/2022
Vascular Venture Kft.
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