CORDIS - EU research results

advanced technologieS for drug dIscovery and precisioN mEdicine: in vitRo modellinG human physiology and diseAse

Project description

Enhancing screening in the drug discovery pipeline will boost successful passage through it

Drug approval still takes about 14 years and the failure rate during clinical trials is about 85 %. At each phase, many targets fail due to safety and efficacy issues, in large part because research models of disease do not adequately model all human factors. SINERGIA will focus on optimising the use of four cutting-edge technologies that support in vivo modelling of drug mechanisms and effects. It brings together academic research entities, contract research organisations, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Implementation of better disease models in the drug discovery pipeline could significantly enhance the success and speed at which new candidates are brought from the bench to the bedside.


A key step in the drug development process is to predict information on safety, efficacy and mechanisms of action of a candidate molecule as early as possible in the pipeline (drug screening). To accomplish this aim, physiological and pathological pre-clinical models that closely approximate the human body are required. The limited capabilities of most of the existing pre-clinical screening tools, unable to meet the physiological relevance required to screen out failing drug candidates, reflect in the current weak performances of drug discovery: high attrition rates indeed affect the process of taking drugs from lab to market. Despite emerging new technologies exist with potential for advancing the field of in vitro modelling, their successfully implementation in the drug discovery pipeline to make it more efficient is still challenging. This is also imputable to a lack of structured dialogue between academic technology providers, market-oriented and regulatory-aware CROs, Biotechs and Pharma companies, which finally affects the research, training and development pipeline. SINERGIA aims at integrating a training network where academic and non-academic actors contribute to unravel the potential of the synergistic and rational use of four key bioengineering technologies. In particular, SINERGIA features academic leading experts of i) organs-on-chip and microfabrication technologies; ii) bioreactor and tissue engineering; iii) 3D Bioprinting; iv) induced-pluripotent human stem cells. These techniques are deployed to CROs and Biotech Consortium members that will ensure rational development, exploitation, validation and compliancy with regulatory and industrial aspects. Ultimately, this concerted action will lead to advanced models of human physiology and diseases to be introduced in preclinical stages of an innovative and improved drug discovery pipeline.


Net EU contribution
€ 522 999,36
20133 Milano

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 522 999,36

Participants (9)