Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


EU Funding Helps Fight Liver Cancer


The fight against liver cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide, is being helped by 2.5 million euros from the EU’s Framework Programme.

PONT (Parallel Optimisation of New Technologies for Post-Genomics Drug Discovery) is a three-year specific targeted research project involving four biotechnology companies and two academic partners from the UK, Austria and Germany. It aims to bridge the gap in the drug development pipeline using a new approach in post-genomics drug discovery. The project combines optimal technologies with the best scientific expertise to develop new medical therapies.

The overall project will concentrate on three areas where Europe is in a relatively favourable position compared with the US - human tissue resources, ribonucleic acid (RNA) technology, and structural proteomics. However, the initial focus will be on the development of genomics targets in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver cancer as it is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide and has a very poor prognosis.

“PONT combines cutting-edge technologies and associated know-how developed specifically by the project partners in a collaborative multinational effort to establish a unique metaplatform for post-genomics drug development” says Peter Kane, Senior Director of Research Operations at Tripos Discovery Research - one of the UK project partners. “The project will provide a new paradigm for drug development, resulting in a dramatic reduction in late-stage drug target attrition for preclinical development activities and therefore shortening the time to develop new drugs by two years or more. The programme addresses the general lack of efficiency in converting promising targets from genomics research into effective new drugs, potentially achieving significant time and cost savings that will increase European competitiveness in the biotechnology Industry at many levels.”

“Pont will not only bridge the gap between the wealth of genomics targets and shortcomings in development of these targets, but also the gap between a fragmented biotech industry and the few very big pharma companies. The project integrates four companies in a highly interactive workflow that will provide a model establishing a strong position for biotech precision technology platforms.”

As well as increasing the overall competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry, the successful implementation of the PONT strategy will also provide important and valuable new therapeutic prospects. In contrast to the traditional approach, PONT will undertake pre-clinical drug development with a parallel instead of a sequential approach. This will save years when it comes to the trials.

“The PONT project shows the value of investing EU funding in effective research and development that will bring benefits to us all”, says Claire Horton, FP6UKs National Contact Point for the Life Sciences, Genomics and Biotechnology for Health programme. “It provides the opportunity to bring together the expertise of scientists from throughout Europe, enabling them to work together in finding solutions to many of today’s problems.

“The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free, easy to access, information on the €19bn (euros) of funding available to support internationally collaborative R&D should log on to or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080.”

Dave Sanders | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>