Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A new consortium of 27 partners coordinated by the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences will tackle the challenge of discovery and characterisation of blood-brain barrier targets and transport mechanisms for brain delivery of therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases.

The blood-brain barrier is a protective layer between the brain’s blood capillaries and the cells that make up brain tissue. This barrier provides a defence against the pathogens and toxins that may be in our blood, allowing very few molecules to pass through. It can also prevent many drugs from passing across into the brain, and this presents a major problem in treating neurological conditions and metabolic diseases, especially when using antibody therapies. On the other hand, several neurological diseases could originate from a dysfunctional blood-brain barrier.

The funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to the IM2PACT consortium will allow this public-private partnership, which includes leading international experts in the field, to facilitate the development of drugs to treat neurological disorders by: 

  • discovering and developing innovative and effective brain transport mechanisms
  • establishing and characterising blood-brain barrier models with good predictability in health and disease
  • identifying translational read-outs closer to the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration and mimicking altered blood-brain barrier under disease conditions
  • in-depth understanding of the biology of the blood-brain barrier and characterisation of various pathophysiological mechanisms across the blood-brain barrier.

Read more (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences website)

Similar stories

New form of gift wrap drives male reproductive success

General Research

A study from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) has identified a new communication mechanism that ensures the transfer of a complex mix of signals and nutrients required for successful reproduction between males and females.

PRINCIPLE trial finds antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline not generally effective treatments for COVID-19

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

In March 2020, the UK-wide Platform Randomised trial of INterventions against COVID-19 In older people (PRINCIPLE) trial was established as a flexible, platform randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for COVID-19 that might be suitable for use in the community to help people recover more quickly and prevent the need for hospital admission. The trial is one of three national platform trials for COVID-19 treatments, and complements the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP trials that focus on hospitalised patients.

Early animal studies yield promising results for new potential COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

Studies carried out in the MRC Human Immunology Unit (MRC HIU) in collaboration with the Pirbright Institute have shown that a new potential vaccine against COVID-19, named RBD-SpyVLP, produces a strong antibody response in mice and pigs, providing vital information for the further development of the vaccine. Although this type of vaccine is not a competitor for the first wave of vaccines, it is hoped that it will be useful as a standalone vaccine or as a booster for individuals primed with a different COVID-19 vaccine.

Just over half of British Indians would take COVID vaccine

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

University of Oxford researchers from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) and the Department of Psychiatry, in collaboration with The 1928 Institute, have published a major new study on the impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s largest BME population.

Investigating New Treatment for Schizophrenia

General Innovation Research

A partnership between University of Oxford, the Earlham Institute, and the global pharmaceutical companies Biogen Inc and Boehringer Ingelheim is announced today to investigate a new drug target for the treatment of schizophrenia.