The commitment to drug development for brain pathologies is experiencing a fast rate decreasing, a critical situation in a worldwide scenario where the number of patients affected by brain pathologies like Alzheimer’s (AD) or Parkinson’s (PD) disease are expected to greatly increase in the next decades.
One critical point is that the development of new drugs is a three-phase process that currently requires 10-15 years and investment of 1-3 billion euros against a failure rate of about 99.6% for AD new drugs. The reasons of this discouraging scenario are multifaceted, but an important percentage of failure depends on weak quality of biological target validation assays, mainly due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier and the complexity of brain physiology that make challenging brain disease modelling.
Hence, it is particularly crucial to implement an innovative, reliable in vitro cell model able to predict the potential of a new drug to cross the blood-brain barrier and effectively target the brain.
DIANA (Organ-on-a-chip Drug screenIng device to tArget braiN disease) project aims to perform the technical and commercial feasibility of the integrated stand-alone BBB-brain model in-vitro, Chip4D Brain, based on patented organ on chip technology, providing the basis for a new generation of innovative devices.
DIANA will be run by a consortium between Politecnico di Milano and an industrial partner, Neuro-Zone (Contract Research Organization – CRO – specialized in R&D for drug development in brain diseases for pharma) combining a solid technological expertise and an in-depth knowledge of the market.
ERC PoC 2019 “DIANA” (“Organ-on-a-chip Drug screenIng device to tArget braiN diseAse”; project ID 899431)