The consortium, named CardiomiR and funded by the EU FP7’s Marie Curie Actions program, was initially started in 2012 by the groups of Professor Stephane Heymans (Universiteit Maastricht, The Netherlands), Professor Louis Wehenkel (Université de Liège, Belgium) and Denmark-based Santaris Pharma A/S, with funds totaling over 1.6 million Euro. Cenix was recently invited to join the consortium for the remainder of the funding period, lasting until the end of 2015. The consortium’s updated project plan, now approved by the EU, will focus on identifying miRNAs that are implicated in adverse cardiac inflammation and metabolic risk factors resulting in heart failure, and to explore therapeutic interventions targeting these miRNAs. The Marie Curie funding will primarily support new recruitments and exchanges of scientific personnel by and between the consortium members, to productively combine their skills and know-how of miRNA inhibitor-based drug discovery and development, cardiac disease biology as well as systems biology and OMICS data analysis.
Cenix will complement the world-class expertise offered by the groups of Drs. Heymans and Wehenkel in these areas, by applying its capabilities in cell-based assay development and miRNA modulator screening, in vivo experimentation as well as bioinformatics. In particular, Cenix will leverage its state-of-the-art high-content screening platform using multi-parametric microscopy assays together with industry-leading Definiens XD image analysis, but also test in vivo delivery solutions, including its proprietary Cenix DARE™ technology.