Fighting Blindness with 3D-NET "Drug Discovery & Development of Novel Eye Therapeutics"
Poster Feb 17, 2015
Pilar Ventosa-Andrés, Nils Ohnesorge, Yolanda Fernández, Yolanda Alvarez and Breandán Kennedy
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), and corneal inflammation are significant causes of irreversible blindness with increasing prevalence as the EU population ages and the “diabetes epidemic” expands. There is an unmet clinical need for more effective treatments to halt or reverse these diseases.
PAIN (vascular Permeability, Angiogenesis, Inflammation and Neurodegeneration) are pathological hallmarks of eye diseases that culminate in blindness. The discovery and development of safe and efficacious drugs modulating these processes will significantly improve the quality of life of patients with these diseases, will reduce the associated economic burden, and enhance pharmaceutical R&D in Europe.
The main researcher objectives of 3D-NET  are:
1. Discovery and development of drugs that target ocular pathologies, namely: retinal vascular permeability, unwanted blood vessel growth, inflammation and cell degeneration.
2. The 3D-NET consortium encompasses the capabilities and infrastructure required to test these drugs in relevant pre-clinical models of ocular disease
This project is funded through a Marie Curie Industry-Academia Pathways and Partnerships grant (IAPP) award from the EU Seventh Framework Programme (EU FP7 2013 - 612218/3D-NET). IAPP actions are based on the transfer of Knowledge and Technology between Industry and Academia.
We found a distinct subpopulation of Tregs within BMSCs. Tregs and BMSCs in co-culture conferred neuroprotection that varied in a dose-dependent manner. Tregs minimized stem cell production of IL-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, and inhibited BMSC secretion of FGF-beta, a cytokine related to BMSC proliferation and differentiation. The ratio of Tregs found natively in BMSCs is optimally adapted to provide the maximum neuroprotective benefit of stem cell treatment after ischemic stroke.READ MORE