Project Summary

Project full title: Innovative, mechanistic-based strategies for delivery of therapeutic macromolecules across cellular and biological barriers.

Nanomedicine  offers  capability  to  significantly  change  the  course  of  treatment  for  life-threatening diseases. Many of the most significant current therapeutic targets, to be viable in practice, require the efficient crossing of at least one biological barrier. However, the efficient and  controlled  crossing  of the undamaged barrier is difficult. The range of small molecules that can successfully do so (via diffusive or other non-specific processes) is limited in size and physiochemical properties, greatly restricting the therapeutic strategies that may be applied.

In practice, after several decades of limited success, there is a broad consensus that new multi-disciplinary,  multi-sectoral  strategies  are  required.

Key needs include detailed design and understanding of the bionano-interafce,  re-assessment of  in vitro  models used to assess transport across barriers, and  building regulatory  considerations  into the design phase of nanocarriers.

The overarching premises of the PathChooser ITN research programme are that:

(i) significant advances can only be made by a more detailed  mechanistic understanding  of  key fundamental  endocytotic, transcytotic, and other cellular processes, especially biological barrier crossing.

(ii) elucidating the Mode of Action / mechanism of successful delivery systems (beyond current level) will ensure more rapid regulatory and general acceptance of such medicines. Paramount in this is the design and characterization of the in situ interface between the carrier system and the uptake  and signalling machinery.

(iii)  inter-disciplinary  knowledge  from  a  range  of scientific disciplines is required to launch a genuine attack on the therapeutic challenge.

The PathChooser  ITN  program  of  research  and  training  will  equip  the  next  generation  of translational scientists with the tools to develop therapies for a range of currently intractable (e.g. hidden in the brain) and economically unviable diseases (e.g. orphan diseases affecting a limited population).

Project title: PathChooser: Initial Training Networks
Project acronym: PathChooser
Duration: from 1st October 2013 to 30th September 2017 (4 years)
Program: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN (Marie-Curie Initial Training Networks)
Grant Agreement Number: 608373 (PITN-GA-2013-608373)
Profile in CORDIS: PathChooser