Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS


RATSTREAM Berichtzusammenfassung

Project ID: 37846
Gefördert unter: FP6-IST
Land: Germany

Final Report Summary - RATSTREAM (European project on the characterisation of transgenic rat models for neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases: Automated home cage analyses, live imaging ...)

RATSTREAM was an ambitious European project that aimed to characterise and use three transgenic rat models of neurological diseases which - in humans - present with a wide range of neurological and psychiatric phenotypes:
(1) transgenic rat model of HD;
(2) transgenic rat model of PD overexpressing alpha-Synuclein; and
(3) transgenic rat model of SCA17 with 64 expanded CAG repeats in the TATA binding protein.
These transgenic rat models are worldwide unique.

The RATSTREAM project concentrated on the comprehensive phenotypical characterisation of rat models of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and spinocerebellar ataxia type 17 (SCA17). Ultimately, the project will deliver a procedure for low cost automated drug screening along with a set of data describing the phenotype for each of the models. To achieve this goal, automated home cage systems for behavioural and physiological phenotyping was developed by two small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and validated independently by two academic partners and individual data was incorporated into an integrated database developed by a third SME. In a joint effort, the groups developed a comprehensive set of behavioural and physiological phenotyping procedures including PET and DTI technologies to systematically detect neuropsychiatric correlates of neuronal dysfunction and disease progression in rat models of HD, PD, and SCA17. The resulting set of biomarkers will lead to a valid set of minimised experiments and markers best suited to provide read-out parameters in pre-clinical studies applying novel substances delaying or preventing neurodegeneration.

The commercial impact of the project can be estimated explicitly for the two SMEs engaged in development of automated home cage test systems. NewBehavior forecasts a growing share (10-25 %) of the market for rat behavioural equipment, estimated to be about EUR 5 million per annum in Europe and EUR 15 million worldwide. TSE forecasts, for 2008, a share of the European market valued at EUR 1.5 million and, for the rest of the world, EUR 0.15 million. In 2009, this is expected to increase to EUR 3.75 million in Europe and EUR 1.8 million in the rest of the world respectively. While the market itself is not large in comparison with other fields of biotechnology, one can expect sustainability over a long period, since automated home-cage testing systems will gradually replace existing rat testing equipment in every university and larger pharmaceutical company.

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Reported by

Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen
Wilhelmstraße 7
72074 Tübingen
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