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.

Two researchers working in a lab

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

Multi-partner 'OpenMind' consortium to develop technology for new generation of neurostimulation devices

General Research

Investigators at the University of Oxford, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Brown University and the Mayo Clinic have joined forces to develop open-source technology platforms for a new generation of neurostimulation devices that not only provide stimulation to the brain but also sense, record, and stream brain activity.

Why we must expand newborn screening

General Research

Professor Laurent Servais of the Department of Paeditrics writes for the Oxford Science Blog on why it is important that we become much more efficient in the diagnosis of treatable conditions and in the treatment of these diseases.

New method for cost-effective genome-wide DNA methylation analysis

General Research

Ludwig Cancer Research team build on its TAPS method to develop an alternative to costly whole-genome sequencing for the detection of DNA methylation.

Azithromycin not effective against COVID-19, trial confirms

Clinical Trials General Research

A clinical trial by University of Oxford researchers has confirmed that the antibiotic azithromycin has no clinical benefit in people with moderate COVID-19.