The Fibro-Targets project is a multi-disciplinary 4 years program involving 10 partners ambitioning “the identification, characterisation and validation of in vitro and in vivo models of novel therapeutically relevant targets” for myocardial interstitial fibrosis (MIF) in heart failure. The project is based on the hypothesis that the intervention on novel fibrosis-related targets involved in the processes of fibroblast differentiation to myofibroblasts, the predominance of collagen synthesis over degradation and/or collagen maturation may allow for interstitial repair, thus providing a new strategy for the prevention and treatment of adverse cardiac remodeling involved in the transition to and the progression of heart failure. From a large body of existing multi-omics, literature data and previous hypothesis-driven research conducted by members of the consortium, a number of specific extracellular and intracellular targets have been identified whose involvement in MIF is beginning to be understood and that may be targeted by specific therapies.
The specific aims of the Fibro-Targets are:
(i) To provide further evidence on the mechanisms of action of the above targets
(ii) To validate experimentally that new anti-fibrotic strategies can be developed based on the above targets
(iii) To approach the potential clinical scenario of the above targets for HF therapy
To reach these aims the following studies will be performed:
(i) Observational and interventional experimental studies in already existing and/or de novo generated appropriate in vitro and in vivo models.
(ii) Clinical studies, stratifying large scale populations of patients available to the consortium, at risk to develop HF and likely to be responsive to specific novel and/or exiting anti-fibrotic therapies. The stratification will be based on specific “fibrogenetic” phenotypic profiles using multi-panel imaging and circulating markers descriptive of mechanisms involving the proposed novel targets.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project