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Search for new therapeutic agents against complicated obesity by reprofiling existing drugs

Objective

Obesity is one of the most serious and fast-growing health problem in the European Union, and a leading cause of diabetes. The main barrier for approval of an anti-obesity drug is the safety requirements. We propose to overcome this barrier by discovering phenotypes and biomarkers that identify subsets of patients with safe and efficacious responses to drugs, and by identifying new indications of existing drugs with proven safety profiles. To be approved, anti-obesity drugs need to show a decrease in abdominal fat. We focus on approaches targeting directly abdominal fat cells. In the last years only the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist Rimonabant has been approved as a therapeutic agent to combat complicated obesity. Research performed with this drug has clearly revealed a role for the endogenous cannabinoid system in controlling energy homeostasis. However, its utility is limited to a restricted set of patients. A new phenotype and/or biomarker may identify responsive patients with good safety profiles. This proposal aims to discover novel or improved treatments in the shortest possible timeframe through three synergistic Specific Aims: 1) Clinical phenotyping of obese patients to identify those that would benefit from existing therapies such as Rimonabant. 2) Discover biomarkers for subsets of obese patients that may correlate with therapeutical outcomes. These biomarkers will be discovered by a novel approach called Combinatorial Cytomic Biomarkers developed by OrphaMed, applied to cells from two physiologically interlinked sources: blood and abdominal-fat samples, extracted from the above phenotyped patients. 3) Identify new indications of existing drugs, alone or in combination, with potential anti-obesity efficacy by lowering the fat content and the glucose uptake of abdominal fat cells, which would be expected to improve carbohydrate/lipid metabolism and lower body weight, extracted from the above phenotyped patients. This will be accomplished by screening approximately 2.000 known drugs against these fat cells using the novel technology platform “ExviTech” from OrphaMed. Candidates would be evaluated in animal models of obesity.

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2007-B
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Funding Scheme

CP-TP - Collaborative Project targeted to a special group (such as SMEs)
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Coordinator

FUNDACION PUBLICA ANDALUZA PARA LA INVESTIGACION DE MALAGA EN BIOMEDICINA Y SALUD
Address
Calle Doctor Miguel Diaz Recio 28 Planta Baja
29010 Malaga
Spain
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 594 005
Administrative Contact
Fernando Rodriguez De Fonseca (Dr.)

Participants (6)

VIVIA BIOTECH S.L.
Spain
EU contribution
€ 2 723 786
Address
C Santiago Grisolia 2 Oficina 205
28760 Tres Cantos Madrid
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Olivia De La Lama Noriega (Ms.)
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE
France
EU contribution
€ 505 440
Address
Rue De Tolbiac 101
75654 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Giovanni Marsicano (Dr.)
JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ
Germany
Address
Saarstrasse 21
55122 Mainz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Beat Lutz (Prof.)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 508 860
Address
Via Zamboni 33
40126 Bologna
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Alessandra Malavolta (Dr.)
UNIVERSIDAD DE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 505 919
Address
Colexio De San Xerome Praza Do Obradoiro S/n
15782 Santiago De Compostela
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Fernando Sedano Arnaez (Dr.)
UNIVERSITAETSMEDIZIN DER JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAET MAINZ
Germany
EU contribution
€ 561 402
Address
Langenbeckstrasse 1
55131 Mainz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Uta Veith (Dr.)