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EPIMAC Report Summary

Project ID: 641665
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EPIMAC (The next generation epigenetic medicine for inflammation)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Epigenetic mechanisms fundamentally control cell function in health and disease, for instance in cells dividing and their potential to remain self-renewable. Epigenetic medicines show great promise in cancer clinical trials. in the current project we develop a number of projects to show the efficacy of epigenetic medicines to treat inflammation and inflammatory disease.
In several immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) inhibitors of epigenetic modifications, such as histone deacetylases, are effective in treating inflammatory gut disorders and juvenile arthritis. However, an incomplete understanding of the contributions of specific epigenetic modifiers to immune cell function, and the poor availability of selective tool compounds that target them, currently restricts further development in the clinic. The private partner GSK has an extensive drug discovery program aimed at intervening in epigenetic modifications. These compounds will allow the consortium to map how epigenetic processes in innate immune cells can be targeted to control IMIDs.
The goal of this project-EpiMac- is to gain better insight into how epigenetic modifications regulate innate immune cell differentiation and function, particularly in the case of IMIDs. Each project partner has expertise in specific IMIDs (inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis) in which aberrant innate immune cell function contributes profoundly to pathology.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

ESRs in EpiMac have performed the following initial experiments:
1-advanced the testing of epigenetic tool compounds in human and rodent immune cell systems
2-tested key epigenetic enzymes functions by affecting expression of their protein function (methylases and bromodomain containing proteins)
3-studied the function of the latter proteins in functional assays for immune activation and wound healing

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

In terms of the impact on training of ESRs, and established synergy with private sector. Secundments and interaction with private partner GSK-EpiNova is underway. All ESRs will and have spent their research time at AMC and GSK working on common projects. Hence, this project will provide ESRs academic-industrial partnership, and a unique overview of the whole drug development cycle. This will enrich ESRs career perspectives by preparing them for research possibilities in both academic and private sectors.

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