DRUGSFORD's aim is to study cyclic nucleotide based compounds using enhanced drug delivery systems (DDS) in preclinical models to identify drug candidates. These will then be further developed for clinical use, with the ultimate goal to provide therapies for retinal degenerative diseases.

Interactions within the DRUGSFORD consortium: The blue arrows indicate forward feed of compounds, DDS, and drug/DDS combinations. The green arrows indicate feedback of compound properties, test results, and analysis methods.
image drugsford network

The team will pursue this in a highly collaborative effort. BIOLOG (Bremen) will further develop cyclic nucleotide based compounds, to-BBB (Leiden) shall develop drug delivery systems (DDS), together addressing the drug and drug delivery development.

The three academic groups from Modena, Lund, and Tübingen will perform a step-wise testing of drugs and drug/DDS combinations for their neuroprotective properties towards photoreceptors, using systems of increasing complexity: First a screening approach by cell culture, in which many different compounds will be filtered for the best candidates; The best candidates, either alone or in combination with DDS, are then investigated further under life-like in vitro conditions (explant culture) and eventually by studies in vivo. Separate experimentation will, in parallel, judge the drugs and DDSs with respect to target inhibition and drug delivery efficacies, respectively. Additionally, the studies will address potential side-effects (e.g. off-target effects) and possible harmfulness.

The Network Partners

  • Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
    François Paquet-Durand (Coordinator)
    Thomas Wheeler-Schilling (Project Manager)
  • BIOLOG Life Science Institute, Bremen
    Hans-Gottfried Genieser, Frank Schwede
  • Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
    Valeria Marigo
  • Lunds Universitet
    Per Ekström
  • SP Process Development AB
    Södertälje, Sweden
    Magnus Larsson, Nicolaas Schipper

Former Network Partners

  • to-BBB Technologies BV, Leiden
    The Netherlands
    Pieter Gaillard, Sijme Zeilemaker