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European Union tackles neurodegenerative diseases

The PharmaCOG project, co-coordinated by Prof. Olivier Blin from the Université de la Méditerranée (Marseille, France), was assessed the best out of twenty submitted projects on the thematic of neurodegenerative diseases. With a co-founding of € 9M by the European Union and € 13M by the EFPIA partners, it is the most ambitious project tackling Alzheimer's disease ever funded at European level.

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Europe has to face an increase of its citizens’ life expectancy, which has dramatic consequences in terms of public health. Indeed, 5.4 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other form of dementia and it is estimated that this figure will double by 2050. While on June the 7th, European citizens will elect their MPs, it seemed important to highlight an area where Europe has invested to improve the lives of their citizens, particularly for patients with neurodegenerative diseases and their families.

In 2008, the French Presidency of the European Union encouraged the fight against Alzheimer's disease, which became a European priority. Simultaneously, the European Commission set up a Joint Technology Initiative in Health in association with the EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations): IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative). IMI supports the development of new knowledge, new tools and methods to accelerate the discovery and the development of better medicines for patients. On 30 April 2008, a series of calls for proposals was launched, including one on neurodegenerative diseases.

The PharmaCOG project, co-coordinated by Prof. Olivier Blin from the Université de la Méditerranée (Marseille, France), was assessed the best out of twenty submitted projects on the thematic of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, with a co-founding of € 9M by the European Union and € 13M by the EFPIA partners, PharmaCOG is the most ambitious project tackling Alzheimer's disease ever funded at European level.

PharmaCOG offers a complete innovative approach to Alzheimer's treatment drug discovery. Indeed, the major obstacle to new drugs development is the promising pharmaceutical molecules failure rate through the medicines' development process, with regard to criteria such as toxicity and efficiency.

PharmaCOG will define more precisely the potential of a drug candidate, reduce its development time and thus accelerate the marketing of promising new drugs in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Through the joint effort of 30 European partners (within 9 European countries) from 12 fundamental and clinical public research institutions, 5 innovative SMEs, 12 Big Pharma companies and 1 patient’s association, PharmaCOG will validate the tools needed to streamline and accelerate the discovery of drugs effective in treating Alzheimer's disease.

Countries

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia

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UniversitŽ de la MŽditerranŽ, Aix-Marseille II

Protisvalor MediterranŽe 8 rue Sainte Barbe

13001   Marseille

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