Cenix BioScience GmbH today announced that it has joined a new European atherosclerosis therapy initiative named Athero-Flux, which has recently secured grant funding under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program.
The Athero-Flux consortium, with EU funds totaling almost 6 million Euro, is being coordinated by Professor Sir Marc Feldmann, who is head of a world-leading translational research group in the area of inflammatory diseases at the University of Oxford (UK).
The initiative builds on FP7-generated large-scale lipidomics data showing that specific sphingolipids and in particular distinct ceramides are better predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcome than traditional risk factors. The consortium’s work will focus on the identification and validation of targets involved in ceramide metabolism, through a combination of SME-based technology and advanced modeling by several academic partners, for development of new lipid lowering therapeutics to abate previously unrecognized risk factors of CVD. Within this project, Cenix will leverage its cell-based genome-wide RNAi screening platform to identify regulators of ceramide production and the mediators of their biological effect.
The consortium brings together a number of world-class academic groups from the University of Oxford (UK), the Biomedical Research Foundation at the Academy of Athens (Greece), the Pirkanmaa Hospital (Finland), the Institute Pasteur (France), the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), the Syddansk Universitet (Denmark) and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel). They are complemented by the cutting-edge technological expertise of SME companies Cenix BioScience (Germany), Zora Biosciences (Finland) and Santaris Pharma (Denmark), with project management support from Alta (Italy).