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Cell permeable peptides as drug delivery system: a way towards innovative therapeutic strategies for neurodegeneration (cPADS)
Start date: Mar 1, 2008, End date: Feb 29, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Peptides and small molecules able to modulate protein-protein interaction as well as intracellular pathways leading to neurodegeneration and cell death hold a great potential as innovative therapeutic strategies with which to probe and manipulate biological pathways. The need to deliver these biologically active agents into cells has encouraged to develop various transducing vectors. In this view, cell permeable peptides conjugates represent a novel, versatile and extremely powerful way of blocking the propagation of intracellular signaling events or intracellular protein complexes, thus being an useful tools for both creating innovative animal models and to design innovative therapeutic strategies. The project aims to foster a dynamic pathway between academic research organizations and private commercial enterprises based on a longer term co-operation programme in the field of innovative therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disorders. The project will focus on the following specific objectives: i) Identify and verify appropriate targets, making use of innovative animal models to develop blocking/inhibitory small molecules; ii) Design appropriate cell permeable peptides and develop proteases resistant vectors. The projects goal will be sustained by concrete transfer of knowledge assured by bidirectional secondments and recruitment of external expertise. Further, the strong complementarities of competencies of the partners involved will be instrumental: through knowledge sharing and intersectorial mobilities the project will lead to develop new generation of drugs tackling with unprecedented specificity pathways of degeneration in neuronal cells. The intersectorial two-ways transfer of knowledge proposed in the project will strongly accelerate the all process from ideation to application of novel potential drugs for neurodegeneration and will speed up the advancement of research capability and the competitiveness of the partners involved.

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