University of Milan - UNIMI, Ospedale San Raffaele S.r.l. - OSR, Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Genetica Molecolare - INGM, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo,
The project aims to identify innovative drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, and related actions are focused on the experimental proof of the concept in a preclinical environment (before testing patients).
Hepatitis B is an inflammatory liver disease caused by the HBV virus. Five percent of adults and > 50% of children under 5 years of age infected with HBV become chronic patients at high risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer. The vaccines in use are able to prevent infection but do not cure chronic hepatitis B, for which there are few antiviral drugs that, as in the case of anti-HIV drugs, must be taken for life to prevent dangerous viral recurrences and liver disease. Current therapies have very high costs for the national health system and do not significantly reduce the risk of developing liver cancer.
The scientific discovery process will focus on the identification of inhibitors of the HBV capsid, compounds that can inhibit viral replication and/or the formation of cccDNA, anti-HBV peptide nucleic acids (PNA) and human monoclonal antibodies in order to create compounds that can fight the infection, like monotherapy or in combination with current and/or future HBV medications. The inventions developed by the scientific collaboration will be subsequently patented.
The technological platforms and scientific and industrial expertise of the individual partners are the foundation on which to develop the cluster, supply chains and specialised local businesses.
The project seeks to develop activities in the area IS 6.9 "Development of innovative High Throughput and High Content screening approaches for the study of new drugs", strengthening a network with industry and research partners.