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RESEARCH PROJECTS

ONGOING

At the laboratories of the IRET Foundation, opened in 2012, numerous projects are currently underway, supported both by competitive calls for tender and by research contracts with companies.
The projects are managed by the IRET Foundation or by other research organizations collaborating with the University of Bologna (Unibo), whose research activities are partly carried out at the IRET laboratories on the basis of a multi-year agreement (Joint Research Laboratory).

N2ERT

“N2ERT – Platform for the prototyping of nanomedicines for therapeutic proteins: replacement enzyme therapy for rare neurometabolic diseases”

N2ERT will develop a technology platform for the prototyping of systems for the brain delivery of therapeutic proteins (enzymes for replacement therapy in rare neurometabolic diseases) via nanoparticles, to accelerate the advancement from TRL4 to TRL6 in accordance with regulatory agency specifications.

  • Funding body: The Region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy; POR FESR 2021- 2027 European funding program
  • Research organizations: IRET, Principal Investigator; CIRI-SDV (interdepartmental center for industrial research – life sciences, University of Bologna), Partner

AI4CHEMOBRAIN

“AI4ChemoBrain – A machine learning/artificial intelligence model for personalized medicine: development of a predictive marker for cognitive complications during chemotherapy based on subject-derived phenotype and omics data”

The AI4CHEMOBRAIN project is designed to generate a predictive marker for cognitive complications during and after chemotherapy, for clinical use, based on a machine learning/artificial intelligence model trained and validated with preclinical data sets.

  • Funding body: The Region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy; POR FESR 2021- 2027 European funding program
  • Research organizations: IRET, Principal Investigator; CIRI-SDV (interdepartmental center for industrial research – life sciences, University of Bologna), Partner

GLYMED

“Repositioning of glycosaminoglycans in new medicinal products for the treatment of degenerative joint diseases- GLYMED”

The project involves research into the development of new medicinal products based on a glycosaminoglycan such as pentosan polysulfate (PPS) for the treatment of degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.

  • Funding body: The Region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy; POR FESR 2021- 2027 European funding program
  • Research organizations: IRET, Partner

FISR - COVID

“Prototype of a high-content screening platform aimed at “drug-repositioning” for the prevention/mitigation of the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection” – anti-EMT-19
The project involves the development of an antifibrotic drug screening platform based on human capillary endothelial cells from different areas of the body, using high-content screening technology.

  • Funding body: MUR (Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) – FISR (special integrative fund for research) 2020
  • Research organizations: CIRI-SDV (laboratory for the study of life sciences and health technologies, Unibo), Principal Investigator

IZS - PFAS

“Investigating the health hazards of short chain PFASs: toxicology, food contamination and the effects of prenatal exposure on neurodevelopment”
The project is studying the possible effects of intrauterine exposure to PFASs on neurological development and behavioral performance observed in adulthood.

  • Funding body: Italian Ministry of Health – targeted research
  • Research organizations: CIRI-SDV (laboratory for the study of life sciences and health technologies, Unibo), Partner

CHEMOBRAIN 1

“Neuropathies of the optic nerve as a side effect of chemotherapy drugs: role of the vulnerability of oligodendrocytes and their precursors”
With the aim of clarifying the mechanism underlying some of the neurological side effects observed during chemotherapy, the project is studying the vulnerability of the cells myelinating the optic nerve to chemotherapy drug exposure.

  • Funding body: Fondazione del Monte
  • Research organizations: DIMEVET (department of medical and veterinary sciences, Unibo), Principal Investigator

ALTERNATIVE METHODS 2

“Use of molecular analysis in a line of embryonic stem cells (from rats) as a replacement for in vivo embryotoxicity and teratogenicity studies”
The project aims to develop alternative (replacement) methods for environmental safety studies relative to the early stages of development (embryonic pre- and post-implantation).

  • Funding body: Italian Ministry of Health
  • Research organizations: DIMEVET (department of medical and veterinary sciences, Unibo), Principal Investigator

PE 12 - NRRP (national recovery and resilience plan)

“Mnesys, a multiscale integrated approach to the study of the nervous system in health and disease”
As part of spoke 4 activities, the project aims to develop three-dimensional neural systems validated for reproducibility, study systemic factors which modify the natural course of chronic progressive neurological diseases and identify new therapeutic targets for these diseases and for central nervous system lesions.

  • Funding body: MUR (Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) – NRRP (national plan for recovery and resilience) extended partnerships
  • Research organizations: DIMEVET (department of medical and veterinary sciences, Unibo), & Fabit (department of pharmacy and biotechnologies, Unibo), Partners

CN 3 - NRRP (national recovery and resilience plan)

“National Center for Gene Therapy and Drugs based on RNA Technology”
As part of spoke 1 activities, the project aims to develop RNA-based therapies for rare mitochondrial diseases.

  • Funding body: MUR (Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) – NRRP (national plan for recovery and resilience) “national champions” initiative
  • Research organizations: Fabit (department of pharmacy and biotechnologies, Unibo), Partner

ALTERNATIVE METHODS 3

“Validation of in vitro systems as replacement methods: vascularization of 3D cultures (Co3D-Vasco)” – Region of Emilia-Romagna, 2023
The project aims to develop alternative (replacement) methods for environmental safety studies, in particular three-dimensional systems consisting of different cell types.

  • Funding body: Italian Ministry of Health
  • Research organizations: DIMEVET (department of medical and veterinary sciences, Unibo), Principal Investigator

PRIN - EEB

“A pilot in vitro and in vivo study for the molecular characterization of epidermal stem cells and the quality and safety assessment of epidermal cultures for combined cell and gene therapy”
The project will test epithelial flaps created from epidermal cells engineered to correct specific mutations in animal models.

  • Funding body: MUR (Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research) – PRIN (“projects of important national interest” funding program)
  • Research organizations: Fabit (department of pharmacy and biotechnologies, Unibo), Partner

VIP - ER

“Integrated and personalized assessment of the risk of neuroischemic complications in diabetes – VIPER”)
The project aims to identify prognostic risk factors for cardiac complications in patients with diabetic foot.

  • Funding body: Maria Cecilia Hospital, Cotignola, Ravenna, Italy
  • Research organizations: IRET, Partner

OTHER PROJECTS

The IRET Foundation is also running twelve research projects (number updated on 31/07/23) commissioned by companies and other institutions (both in Italy and overseas) covered by confidentiality agreements in the following fields: pharmacology (gene therapies, therapeutic proteins and conventional drugs), food supplements, advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), medical devices and advanced microscopy instruments for applications in neurological, metabolic and rare diseases, epithelial and neurological lesions.