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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 €

 

Maurizio Botta interview at Italian TV programme Elisir

Maurizio Botta, LDS CEO, gives an interview on a popular television programme in Italy, dedicated to health and welfare.

Maurizio talks about the project on DDX3 inhibitors as antiviral agents active against HIV and Hepatitis C, among the others.

Maurizio’s research group together with the Molecular Genetics Institute of CNR in Pavia, identified the first molecules targeting DDX3, a human protein involved in the replication of many viral pathogens. During its interview, Maurizio outlines the innovative strategy which underpins the research project on DDX3 inhibitors, and recalls the history of this exciting discovery which mainly involved Italian research groups.

LDS is now taking part to the development of these broad spectrum antiviral agents thanks to its expertise and competences in discovery and development.

The show aired on 23th May 2016.

http://www.raiplay.it/video/2016/05/Elisir-del-23052016-4fd64414-9968-4e37-bb56-f0b538d38e21.html

 

Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo meets Maurizio Botta research group

Maurizio Botta, and researchers from University of Siena and LDS, were really honoured they had the chance to tell their story about DDX3 to the Italian Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo.

The Italian recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, Dario Fo, and his wife Franca Rame, privately contributed to support the DDX3-inhibitor project through the Rame-Fo Foundation. Soon after the publication of the important results achieved in the project, and published in PNAS publication, Dario Fo expressed his enthusiasm about it in his web page:

http://www.dariofo.it/content/comunicato-stampa-lettera-di-dario-fo-su-scoperta-delluniversit%C3%A0-di-siena-e-del-cnr

Unfortunately, Franca Rame passed away before learning the results of her efforts but the researchers working on DDX3 are all incredibly grateful for her support and for believing in this pioneering project.

On 6th May, Dario Fo invited the researchers working in the DDX3 Project for a meeting at the “Libera Università di Alcatraz” founded by his son Jacopo Fo and they spent a wonderful day they’ll never forget with him. Here is a video about the interview.

 

All the DDX3 researchers would like to express a huge thank you to Dario Fo and to his group for all the effort and the great support to this work, which LDS is also actively contributing to. This is a really precious endorsement for all of them.

UNAVIR

LDS is project partner in UNAVIR Project (Malattie Virali Rare: una strategia innovative per combatterle con un unico agente antivirale), together with University of Siena (lead institution), University of Florence, University of Pisa, and VisMederi.

UNAVIR is beneficiary of the “FAS Salute 2014” Call of Tuscany Region and is supported by Distretto Toscano Scienze della Vita.

The project aims at developing broad spectrum antiviral agents able to stop the progression of several viral diseases, such as Dengue and Chikungunya fever. By choosing a human protein as the biological target, it will be possible to overcome the resistance which is commonly developed by viral proteins against drugs. It is an innovative therapeutic approach for the treatment of rare viral infections including Dengue, Chikungunya fever, and West Nile viral disease, and whose incidence is constantly growing.

Within UNAVIR, LDS will guide the design and synthesis of new molecules which will be then tested in vitro by the other partners.

http://www.meetthelifesciences.it/it/archvio/398-fassalute-malattie-virali-rare-come-combatterle-con-un-unico-agente-antiviral