Navigation Links
European membrane expertise to focus on new treatments for human diseases

A new 15 million Euro project led by the University of Leeds aims to find novel treatments for many human diseases by bringing together the leading European experts in membrane proteins.

The project the European Drug Initiative for Channels and Transporters (EDICT) will target about 80 proteins, which play an important role in human diseases as varied as diabetes, heart disease, neuropsychiatric disorders like epilepsy and depression, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers and cataracts.

Membrane proteins are key to every process in the human body, channelling ions or transporting chemicals and so are ideal targets for new treatments. Infections by pathogenic bacteria, yeasts and parasites also involve their own membrane proteins, which can be specific targets for development of new drugs and antibiotics.

The research is mainly funded by the European Commission, involves twenty-seven partners from twelve countries including two Nobel Laureates - and is set to last four years.

Coordinating the project is Peter Henderson, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Membrane proteins are seen by many as the next potential source of drug development, and so the EC is keen to fund research in this area, he said. However, they are difficult to study and are poorly understood, though the recent sequencing of the human and other genomes show they make up about one third of all proteins in all organisms, including humans.

At the moment, few groups of membrane proteins are being seriously investigated by the pharmaceutical industry, so this project will help to fill that gap. By bringing together the best scientists in this challenging field from all over Europe, we hope to make a real advance towards new treatments for key diseases.

Industry has also seen the benefit of bringing such expertise together under one umbrella and working with the academics will be pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and a smaller company, Xention, which specialises in the discovery and development of novel and selective ion channel drugs.

The researchers include biologists, structural biologists, chemists and experts in the three key technologies: x-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and electron microscopy.

The team aims to map out the structure of the proteins, so they can identify compounds that could be developed as a treatment for these diseases. Where they have already mapped some structures, the team will have a head start and hope to make real advances towards new treatments.

Other researchers joining the project from Leeds include Professors Steve Baldwin and Carola Hunte from the Faculty of Biological Sciences and Professor Peter Johnson and Dr Colin Fishwick from the School of Chemistry. All are members of Leeds Astbury Centre, the leading interdisciplinary research centre in the UK studying how life works at an atomic level.

The two Nobel Laureates involved in the research are Director of the Medical Research Councils Dunn Human Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, Professor Sir John Walker, who also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Leeds, and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, Professor Hartmut Michel.


Contact: Jo Kelly
University of Leeds

Related biology news :

1. ESFs European ice core project EPICA receives prestigious Descartes Prize
2. First European Lung Cancer Conference
3. European Union forests expanding, absorbing carbon at surprisingly high rate: study
4. IdentiPHI Opens Paris Office to Boost European Sales and Support
5. Hot spots the key to controlling European carp in Australia
6. European lead in reading past climates from ice cores
7. Three-way mating game of North American lizard found in distant European relative
8. 2 French scientists win European award for communication
9. Last chance for media to register for ECCO 14 -- the European Cancer Conference
10. Researchers develop better membranes for water treatment, drug delivery
11. New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... SOUTH EASTON, Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... "Company"), a leader in the development and sale of ... to the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it ... closing of its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), ... Offering to $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it will ... Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 in ... to view live demonstrations of iMedNet , ... how iMedNet has been able to deliver time ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... 2015 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - Global ... - 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected to ... The market is estimated to expand at a CAGR ... 2022. Rising security needs among customers at homes, the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... and NEW YORK , November 24, ... investment by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a European ... Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in which the companies will work ... immuno-oncology and other areas of unmet medical need. The collaboration ... LSP 5, the latest LSP fund. This is the first ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 According to two new ... 2005. This is something that many doctors, scientists, and public ... questions remains: with fewer PSA tests being done, will there ... Dr. David Samadi, "Despite the efforts made ... remains the second leading cancer cause of death in men, ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... Nov. 23, 2015   Ceres, Inc . (Nasdaq: ... financial results for the fiscal year ended August 31, ... --> --> During fiscal ... and feed products with a better balance of yield, ... distribution agreements with several leading crop input providers and ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... November 23, 2015 , ... ... 100 award for the development of its Nexera UC Unified Chromatography system. The ... 100 most technically significant new products of the year in the analytical and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: