LDS in the fight against West Nile Virus

Thanks to a collaboration with the University of Siena and CNR of Pavia, a novel strategy to fight West Nile Virus and other emergent viruses

Following their recent study that led to the identification of the first molecule able to inhibit the replication of several viruses (such as Hepatitis C, HIV, Dengue) through the action on a cellular enzyme (DDX3), the research groups coordinated by Prof. Maurizio Botta from the University of Siena and Dr. Giovanni Maga from the IGM-CNR Pavia, also in collaboration with Lead Discovery Siena and Prof. Giannecchini from the University of Florence, have developed a novel family of DDX3 inhibitors which have been shown to be efficacious to block the replication of West Nile virus in human cells, without any damage to healthy cells.

These molecules, with promising pharmacokinetic properties, pave the way for the formulation of an innovative class of drugs directed against West Nile virus and other emergent viruses. The research has been published on  the prestigious Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, published by the American Chemical Society.

West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of infected mosquitoes that are also present in Italy where it is responsible for several infections each year, even with severe neurological complications. Moreover, this virus infects each year millions of persons all over the world. Despite continuous efforts being made to identify new drugs or vaccines, no specific therapy or prophylaxis is actually available on the market.

Our approach – commented Prof. Botta and Dr. Maga – is highly innovative because exploits a cellular enzyme to block virus replication. Actually, it makes the cell an adverse environment for virus replication. Usually, antiviral drugs are directed against viral proteins which rapidly mutates and thus might become resistant to treatments. On the other side, our strategy is able to overcome this obstacle. Other viruses, such as Dengue and Zika, depend on DDX3 for their replication. Thus, our molecules could become broad spectrum antiviral therapeutic agents – not available so far – against emergent viruses. The good scientific research conducted in our Universities and at CNR has played a leading role in achieving such success. This work was made possible thanks to the precious economic support from Tuscany Region through the FAS Salute 2014 Grant (DD 4042/2014) and from First Health Pharmaceuticals B. V.”.

 

Published article on Journal Medicinal Chemistry

LDS at the Meet In Italy for Life Sciences 2018

LDS has attended the last edition of Meet in Italy for Life Sciences which is the main national matchmaking and update event on topical issues in Life Sciences

From 10-12 October 2018, LDS was present at the fifth edition of Meet in Italy for Life Sciences at Opificio Golinelli, in Bologna, which saw the participation of over 420 organizations from 37 countries.

LDS partecipated at the Brokerage event, where we had the pleasure to meet about 20 partners to discuss new opportunities for collaboration and business. The event is aimed at strengthening the Life Sciences sector and facilitating networking between companies, research centres and laboratories, investors, startups, national and regional institutions, industry trade groups, clusters, technological parks, incubators, universities, etc.

Meet in Italy for Life Sciences 2018 was promoted and organized by the Emilia-Romagna Region with the technical support of ASTER – the Consortium for innovation and technology transfer in Emilia-Romagna and supported by Europen contributes of Emilia-Romagna Region – ERDF ROP 2014-2020.

Bologna 2018

LDS at the BIO International Convention in Boston

LDS joined the 25th edition of BIO 2018 held in Boston, U.S.A., from 4th to 7th June, the largest business partnering event (setting a new Guinness World Record!) for biotech and pharma companies.

BIO 2018 attracted 18,289 U.S. and international attendees, involved in 46,916 partnering meetings, who came together for one week of intensive networking to discover new opportunities and promising partnerships in a wide spectrum of life science and application areas including drug discovery, biomanufacturing, genomics, biofuels, nanotechnology and cell therapy.

LDS exhibited at the Italian Pavilion and had the possibility to network and connect to companies and potential partners. With over 20 scheduled meetings in two days, LDS met company delegates from US, Europe, China and Australia.

It was a great opportunity to increase its visibility on an international level, get feedback from experts and explore new solutions to sustain its projects.

http://convention.bio.org/2018/

 

LDS reaffirms commitment to fighting viral diseases: the PANVIR.NET Project

LDS is the leading institution in PANVIR.NET Project together with VisMederi Research srl, Accurange srl, Pharma Development and Services srl, University of Siena, University of Florence, and University of Pisa.

PANVIR.NET is co-financed in the framework of POR FESR Toscana 2014-2020, Azione 1.1.5 sub-azione a1; Bando 2 “Progetti di ricerca e Sviluppo delle PMI”

Objective of PANVIR.NET (Preclinical development of novel panviral agents within a specialized regional network) is to develop new therapies based on broad spectrum antiviral agents against those viruses currently responsible of outbreaks with a potential epidemic or pandemic evolution, thanks to a public-private network localized in Tuscany Region and able to guide and support the antiviral drug discovery and development process.

Recent demographic and climatic changes have caused a wider diffusion of arboviruses such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, West Nile, and novel influenza viruses subtypes, and an increased risk for novel infections or re-activation of persistent infections, such as erpetic infections from cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex type -1 and -2 e varicella-zoster. Broad spectrum antiviral drugs  that target common components present in several viruses could represent a novel strategy to fight viral infections that are currently without any specific drugs, and to limit the selection of resistant viral strains.

Within PANVIR.NET, LDS and its partners aims to identify at least one novel preclinical candidate for the treatment of viral diseases. This will include the definition of all the tests and methods that are necessary to develop new antiviral drugs through the development and consolidation of a specialized regional network.

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PANVIR.NET è un Progetto co-finanziato nel quadro del POR FESR Toscana 2014-2020; Azione 1.1.5 sub-azione a1; Bando 2 “Progetti di ricerca e sviluppo delle MPMI”

Obiettivo di PANVIR.NET (Sviluppo preclinico di agenti PANVIRali innovativi all’interno di un NETwork regionale specializzato) è lo sviluppo di nuove terapie basate su agenti antivirali ad ampio spettro contro virus che sono causa di focolai con possibile andamento epidemico o pandemico, all’interno di un network pubblico-privato localizzato in Toscana in grado di supportare e guidare il percorso di sviluppo di farmaci antivirali.

Recenti cambiamenti demografici e climatici hanno portato ad una maggiore diffusione di arbovirus quali Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, West Nile, e nuovi sottotipi di virus influenzali, e ad un accresciuto rischio di nuove infezioni o di riattivazione di quelle persistenti, tra cui le infezioni erpetiche da citomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, herpes simplex tipo -1 e -2 e varicella-zoster. Farmaci antivirali ad ampio spettro che bersagliano componenti comuni a più virus, rappresentano una strategia innovativa per contrastare infezioni virali per le quali non esistono farmaci specifici e limitare la selezione di varianti virali resistenti.

In PANVIR.NET, LDS ed i suoi partner intendono identificare almeno un candidato preclinico innovativo per il trattamento di malattie virali oltre a definire i test e le procedure necessarie allo sviluppo di nuovi farmaci antivirali, attaverso lo sviluppo e consolidamento di un network regionale specializzato.

Sostegno finanziario ricevuto dall’Unione: 672 708,97 €

 

LDS interview for “Looking to gain time” initiative

From research to drug: it’s a matter of chemistry

LDS President Maurizio Botta and Anna Laura Brai, LDS Chemist, gave a short interview as part of “Looking to gain time” initiative by Toscana Life Sciences (TLS). The initiative intends to tell the stories about scientific research and innovation from the companies currently hosted in TLS.

During the interview, Maurizio Botta tells how the idea about LDS was born, its origin as a small University spin off in 2012 and how it now represents a successful institution involved in the discovery and development of new molecules of pharmaceutical interest. Anna Laura Brai explains then the researcher’s job in the company, from the first phase of identification of the target protein most indicated for the development of drugs, until drug synthesis and bio-distribution tests.

LDS is incubated in TLS since 2016. TLS is a non-profit organization active throughout the region in supporting research activities and promoting the creation of innovative companies in the Life Sciences field. Founded at the instigation of Tuscany’s principal university, clinical, industrial and financial institutions, the Foundation is based in Siena, in the historical “Torre Fiorentina” area, where Achille Sclavo founded the eponymous Istituto Sieroterapico e Vaccinogeno Toscano in 1904, and where important multinational vaccine companies now strategically choose to locate their primary research and development activities. An environment of excellence that is part of a regional panorama in which the Life Sciences play a strategic role.

 

LDS at the “Innovation2Business” Workshop 2017

The second edition of the Innovation2Business event was held on November 7th, at the Obihall in Florence.

The I2B workshop has been organised by the Innovation Center of Intesa Sanpaolo, with the support of Confindustria Toscana, University of Florence, University of Pisa, Tuscany Region, and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies to bring together start-up companies, innovative PMIs and big companies looking for new services and technologies, in order to link innovation supply and demand.

About 200 Tuscan companies attended the event. The business performance in 2017 confirms that Tuscany has undertaken a path of growth and development and the next challenges are all about the ability to exploit and consolidate the current positive framework to finally propose as a distinctive reality able to steer the country.

LDS participated in the workshop to present its activities, research projects, and scientific services within scheduled meeting sessions with potentially interested parties. It was a significant day to meet many other realities from the life sciences sector in Tuscany and also from the finance area. The actors were given the chance to exploit new potential collaborations and business opportunities.

The official program provided two slots dedicated to I2B meetings and a round table with the stakeholder to boost the innovation process in Tuscany. An intervention from the Production Activities, Credit, Tourism, and Commerce Regional Ministry finally ended the meeting.

For more details, download the brochure of the event.

 

 

LDS at Meet In Italy for Life Sciences 2017

LDS has attended the last edition of Meet in Italy for Life Sciences which is the main national matchmaking and update event on topical issues in Life Sciences

LDS was present at the two working days of the MIT4LS, which was held in Turin from 11th to 12th October, as a great opportunity for business meetings, networking activities, and to be updated about industry’s key trends and innovation strategies. LDS participated to several bilateral face to face meetings with potential collaboration partners for science and business from several countries all over Europe and also outside.

MIT4LS was organised by Confindustria Piemonte, Piemonte Innnovation Cluster BioPmed, Life Sciences Technological Cluster Alisei, and Camera di Commercio di Torino and involved more than 400 participants from 36 countries with the aim to highlight innovative startup in the Life Sciences sector and facilitate new collaborations and business.

https://www.b2match.eu/mit4ls2017

 

LDS Sponsor at the XI European Workshop in Drug Design

Lead Discovery Siena is Sponsor of the 11th EWDD. The workshop will be held in Certosa di Pontignano at the Conference Center of the University of Siena.

First in this kind, the European Workshop in Drug Design has always been a unique opportunity for graduate students, postdocs and scientists from both Academia and Pharma Industry to celebrate computer-aided drug design and discovery in an exciting and collaborative environment, looking at an impressive sight of the city of Siena from a monastic complex in the heart of the Chianti and Tuscany, and participating to highly interactive hands-on case studies.

LDS is pleased to support this workshop which offers an updated view on most recent modelling techniques and approaches together with the opportunity to meet representatives from both university and pharma industries. LDS will be present during the event and available to talk about the available range of research services and its drug discovery programmes.

www.ewdd.it

On May 21-26, 2017

LDS at the TLS Day 2016

LDS has participated to the Toscana Life Sciences Day 2016, the annual event organized by the Foundation to promote the exchange and contamination of ideas, foster mutual knowledge and the confrontation among the companies and research groups hosted by TLS.


LDS gave a presentation to show its corporate and research activities, competences and platforms, to keep updated the other companies working in the Life Science area and identify potential common interests. It has been a great opportunity to strengthen the existing relationships and to build new potential collaborations with the several differing realities relating to TLS, from biotech to medical devices, medicinal chemistry, ICT, research services and nutraceutics.

 

 

Twenty companies participated to the event together with LDS, such as Pharma Integration, Liquidweb, T4All, egoHealth, Microbiotec, Exosomics Siena, CNR – IFC Siena, Fondazione NIBIT, Università di Siena – Dip. Scienze della Vita, Fondazione di Mario, Ebios Futura, TLS-Lab ERC, Kedrion, VisMederi, Bioscence Research Centre, Polo GGB, Epigen Therapeutics, Istituto Tumori Toscano, Università di Siena – Quantitative Neuroimaging Laboratory.

In this scenario, LDS is the only company working in the Medicinal Chemistry area by providing support to drug discovery projects.

At the end of the event, LDS Project Manager Laura Maccari gave an interview about the potential synergies of LDS with the other companies hosted by TLS.

FULL TLS DAY PROGRAM