Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Training experts in antigen processing to deliver new drug prototypes for cancer and autoimmune diseases

Project description

Insight into antigen processing in autoimmunity and cancer

Accumulating evidence indicates that ERAP enzymes cleave proteins to generate antigenic peptides for presentation to the immune system. As a result, these enzymes constitute attractive targets for modulating the immune system to fight autoimmune disorders and cancer. The EU-funded CAPSTONE project aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying the antigen processing dysfunction encountered in these diseases and the implication of ERAP enzymes. With a long-term goal to develop innovative therapeutic drugs, CAPSTONE will bring together an intersectoral and multidisciplinary group of experts. More importantly, it will train early-stage researchers and prepare them for a career in academia or the pharmaceutical industry.


Current trends in immunotherapy are to develop immuno-modulatory small molecules for intracellular targets for single therapy or combination with existing treatments. CAPSTONE scientists have recently identified the key pathway of intracellular antigen processing for modulating the immune response. ERAP enzymes that generate antigenic peptides have thus emerged as promising targets for the cancer immunotherapy and autoimmune diseases treatments. Our innovative research approach based on ERAP, targets the upstream molecular events that cause these diseases. We aim at fully understanding this pathway, deciphering the mechanisms of antigen processing dysfunctions in diseases, and developing innovative therapeutic drugs. This will provide unique opportunities for future treatment of unmet medical needs and innovative immunotherapies. CAPSTONE will thus be an excellent scientific environment to train the next generation of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and establish an innovative cross-fertilisation between oncology and auto-immunity. Our fellows will be able to perform outstanding research at the forefront of transdisciplinary science within a high-calibre international network of academics, industries and patient associations. CAPSTONE brings together an intersectorial and multidisciplinary group of researchers in medicinal chemistry, X-Ray crystallography, cellular biology, oncology, autoimmunity, bioanalysis, mass spectrometry imaging, formulation, systems biology, personalised medicine that will expose the ESRs to key R&D stages, from basic research to pre-clinical development. CAPSTONE will prepare the ESRs for exciting career perspectives in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology SMEs, and provide them with scientific and transferable skills and high-value professional connections. Industrial secondments and public engagement will add to a broad skill set to ensure employability in the higher ranks of academia and industry.


Net EU contribution
€ 549 604,08
42 rue paul duez
59000 Lille

See on map

Hauts-de-France Nord-Pas de Calais Nord
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (9)