The Centre, funded for € 400 million by the European Union under its NextGenerationEU program and boasting prominence in research and development for gene therapy and RNA-based pharmaceuticals, has two primary goals:
- boosting the technological know-how necessary to design and provide RNA-based drugs
- and developing gene therapy further.
It will also work to identify promising drugs and candidate genes in five major disease areas:
- genetic diseases,
- metabolic-cardiovascular disorders,
- neurodegenerative ailments,
- and inflammatory-infectious pathologies.
Once at its full capacity, the Centre is expected to reach a yearly production output of up to 250-300 gene therapy-based drugs.
Antares Vision Group will be the executing body where equipment is located, and research activities (under the name Spoke) are carried out. It will work jointly with the Italian Institute of Technology, several outstanding hospitals, and numerous universities throughout Italy, including the University of Brescia, on behalf of the Centre for RNA Medicine. The Group will be involved in two platforms: the "RNA/DNA delivery platform" and "From target to therapy: a center of pharmacological, safety and regulatory expertise."
The "RNA/DNA delivery platform" will develop new materials (polymers and lipids), nano-platforms, surface viral delivery systems, extracellular vesicles, and microneedles for a new generation of drug administration technologies. Furthermore, it will rapidly disseminate therapeutic concepts through an unprecedented interdisciplinary effort that merges chemistry, nanotechnology, and pharmaceutical technologies, as well as imaging and microscopy, bioengineering, molecular biology, and pharmacology.
The "From target to therapy: a center of pharmacological, safety and regulatory expertise" platform aims to develop preclinical tools and cutting-edge methods to study the effects of RNA-based pharmaceuticals on the innate and adaptive immune systems. It will achieve this goal through pharmacological studies, specific technological platforms for preclinical and clinical pharmacology, modeling cells, organs, tissues, and animals based on human and animal engineering, and tools and methods to scrutinize the actions and potential side effects of drugs.
"Taking part in the foundation of the Padua-based National Research Centre is a great opportunity to innovate the pharmaceutical industry," said Emidio Zorzella, Antares Vision Group Chairman and Co-CEO." "RNA-based drugs are a future promise and, by combining skills and technologies from prominent institutions and universities, we can contribute to the digital conversion of the supply chain, to ensure efficiency, customization, and sustainability."
University of Brescia Deputy Rector and Pro-Rector for Research Marina Pizzi said the institution was honored to participate in the foundation of the Centre, a key initiative for Italian research: "The University will contribute to the National Research Centre Developing Gene Therapy and Medicines with RNA Technology with studies aimed at identifying therapeutic targets for cancer treatment and the development of nucleic-acid-based drugs, as well as systems of micro-vesicles capable of properly delivering said drugs to cancer cells. The University's cooperation with Brescia-based Antares Vision Group, one of the founders of the Centre itself, will be crucial to achieving successful results in the fields mentioned above".
Check the Press Release to discover more.