The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has assigned the VIP+ validation award 2019 to the EXTassay project. The EXTassay technology allows to directly examine what´s going wrong in neuronal cells of patients suffering from complex brain diseases.
Turning ideas into innovation – that is the aim of BMBF´s funding program “Validation of the Technological and Social Innovation Potential of Scientific Research: VIP+”. The program serves to close the gap between basic research and potential areas of application. On March 26th, three outstanding projects have been honored with the VIP+ award in Berlin. One of the laureates: the EXTassay project.
Outstanding implementation of research results
“We want to make greater use of the innovation potential in Germany. That is why the Federal Ministry of Education and Research promotes the transfer of results of our excellent basic research into application and utilization with VIP+”, said Parliamentary State Secretary Dr Michael Meister, who awarded the prize. The rewarded projects are characterized by the fact that their results can be applied quickly. “Therefore, they are role models in the spirit of our measure”, said Meister.
Decoding the complexity of cellular communication with EXTassay
Scientists in pharma and biotech companies are continuously striving to close current gaps in patient care while facing strong headwinds due to the high failure rates of new drug candidates. In genetically complex brain disorders, such as major depression and Alzheimer´s, classical ONE-disease-ONE-target-ONE-drug oriented approaches have largely failed so far to deliver breakthrough treatments. Obviously, there is a strong medical need to increase the success rate of late-stage clinical development, with in-depth mode-of-action knowledge of drug candidates being the key to success. Therefore, drug discovery in the field of complex brain disorders is in urgent need of HTS procedures, which can elucidate the complex nature of cellular communication.
“With this goal in mind we developed the highly multiplexed cell-based EXTassay technology that allows us to analyze and interpret multiple cellular events simultaneously,” says Sven Wichert, CEO of Systasy Bioscience GmbH. All signaling events are captured by molecularly barcoded reporters in one single experiment, resulting in measurements of large data sets.
The EXTassay technology is a major milestone in developing an innovative roadmap to target selection and lead discovery, which involves the usage of massively parallel target and pathway profiling technologies in patient-derived disease models. “With this roadmap we aim at supporting the development of effective tailor-made therapies. We believe that this strategy will transform drug discovery for complex brain disorders and will play an important role in pharmaceutical and biomedical research,“ says Wichert. “We are very pleased that this innovative approach has been honored with the VIP+ award.”
Source: PRESSEMITTEILUNG des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung 023/2019: Wissen zur Wirkung bringen