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Translational Lab for Biomarker Discovery

Translational Lab for Biomarker Discovery

Translational Lab for Biomarker Discovery

Translational Lab for Biomarker Discovery

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The ESP has established a new Translational Research and Biomarker facility which will be sited at the Centre for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (Zentrum für Molekulare Neurobiologie Hamburg, ZMNH), part of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (Universitätsklinikum Eppendorf, UKE).

The aim of the facility will be to apply translational research methods to identify and validate novel molecular biomarkers, with a focus on Multiple Sclerosis.

The new biomarkers will be used as a basis for the development of disease relevant bioassays and diagnostic tools in order to advance basic research as well as support the UKE’s portfolio of Drug Discovery projects.

The joint Biomarker platform is part of a network of infrastructures created within the framework of the Neu2 consortium, which is funded by the German Government and a group of industry partners, including Merck Serono (http://www.neu-quadrat.de/start-en.html).

The aim of Neu2 is to strengthen the development of innovative pharmaceuticals for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

MS is an autoimmune disease leading to a chronic inflammation of the central nervous system. It is one of the major neurological diseases with approximately 2.5 million patients world-wide.

“We are excited to bring together our respective expertises in Drug Discovery and disease biology to create this new platform at the ZMNH. Our common goals are to identify clinically relevant biomarkers for Multiple Sclerosis and then create a toolbox of efficacy and diagnostic assays to help drive Drug Discovery efforts in this complex and high-risk disease area. The scope of the new facility will cover Biomarker Discovery, Target Identification and Validation, and compound screening activities from basic research all the way through to preclinical development. The close collaboration with the ZMNH will enable us to access the ZMNH’s comprehensive Biobank containing precious Multiple Sclerosis patient material sourced from >1000 patients, which is one of the largest resources of its type in Europe.” said Dr. Philip Gribbon, CSO at the European ScreeningPort.

“The Biomarker platform further strengthens the translation of scientific findings to the clinic within the UKE” said Katja Husen, Managing Director at the ZMNH.

Husen continued, “With this collaboration we expect to soon be able to better monitor disease progression and to allocate a patients status to a discrete phase of MS. There is a clear need to identify biomarkers to support the development of superior therapeutics that can offer an improved efficacy and/or safety profile or a novel mechanism of action.”