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Final Report Summary - CHEMBIOFIGHT (Exploring Chemical Biodiversity with Innovative Approaches for Fighting Chagas and Leismaniasis)

“Exploring the Chemical Biodiversity with Innovative Approaches to Fight Chagas Disease and Leishmaniasis”

The main goal of the ChemBioFight project is the establishment of a competent and fruitful network between European and South American educational and research entities. An innovative and well-organized scientific project aiming to the discovery of novel natural products (NPs) active against Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease comprises the basis of this attempt. State-of-the-art methodologies and advanced techniques are incorporated to this research effort, aiming towards the efficient chemical exploration of various natural sources (plants, marine organisms, fungi, endophytes) originated from highly diverse regions.

(P1) NKUA (University of Athens - GREECE) - Coordinator
(P2) UNIGE (University of Geneva - SWITZERLAND)
(P3) UPD (University Paris Descartes - FRANCE)
(P4) UL (University of Leiden - NETHERLANDS)
(P5) HPI (Hellenic Pasteur Institute - GREECE)
(P6) UNESP (University of Sao Paulo - BRAZIL)
(P7) FIOCRUZ (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation - BRAZIL)
(P8) UFSC (Federal University of Santa Catarina - BRAZIL)
(P9) UNB (University of Brasilia – BRAZIL)
(P10) UCN (Catholic University of North – CHILE)
(P11) UNPSJB (National University of Patagonia San Juan Bosco – ARGENTINA)

In the context of the ChemBioFight project – 1st April 2011 till 31st of March 2015

Core scientific knowledge was produced and exchanged in the field of Phytochemistry, Pharmacognosy, Natural products Chemistry, Biology, Parasitology, Pharmacology, Synthesis of Natural Products, Analytical Chemistry, Metabolomics etc
Several training events (seminars, lectures, talks) during the secondments of the experienced researchers as well as ChemBioFight Workshops gave the opportunity to the involved researchers to be trained in different and novel research topics
Several announcements and participations in scientific conferences and scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals resulted to dissemination of knowledge produced in the context of the project as well as awareness of scientific community and public about Marie Curie funding schemes.

Achieved objectives
Based on the implemented secondments, in silico models able to predict hit compounds against Chagas disease and Leishaniasis has been generated and validated using compounds libraries of the consortium. Several plants from European and South American flora have been collected, extracted and screened biologically. Promising plant extracts have been phytochemically analysed and numerous secondary metabolites have been identified. Meatabolic profiling approaches have been implemented in selected plant species aiming to the correlation of phytocemical content with the observed biological patterns. Finally, synthetic analogues of active natural scaffolds have been produced.

• >100 plants from Europe and S. America were collected and extracted
• >25 plant extracts were phytochemicaly investigated
• >120 compounds were isolated and identified
• >80 compounds were synthesised
• >10 plant extracts were investigated using dereplication and metabolomics approaches
• >65 extracts and 100 compounds were evaluated against Chagas disease
• >110 extracts and 90 compounds were evaluated against Leishmaniasis

Numerous secondments of experienced and early stage researchers were realised from EU to South America and vice versa. In specific, the first two years (2011-2013) 31 secondments took place while the second period (2013-2015) 50 secondments were performed. In total, 81 secondments were implemented.

All of the knowledge and technical know-how necessary for modern science cannot be found in a single country.
ChemBioFight offered a propitious opportunity for the development of profitable links between academic groups in Europe and in South America ChemBioFight brought closer different research organisations and universities and facilitated their future cooperation.
ChemBioFight facilitated the innovation system in Europe encouraging the use of knowledge and the sharing of research results, through the recognition of experience in this field as well as through the exchange of best practices
ChemBioFight assisted the mobility of European researchers to South America and vice versa
ChemBioFight contributed to the career prospects of researchers at all stages of their career by adding skills to scientific expertise, notably regarding IPR and innovation, communication, networking and team working
ChemBioFight attracted some of the most talented researchers worldwide and contribute to counter the brain drain of Europe’s and South America talented students and researchers
ChemBioFight developed new networks of excellence in the field discovering new bioactive natural products for neglected diseases

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