March, 2022, Sweden. Pronexus received funding from the EU call JUST-2020-AG-DRUGS

We are proud to announce that Pronexus as a partner with Department of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona and three other partners received funding from the EU call JUST-2020-AG-DRUGS, for the project NextGenPS, with a full title: Early and effective detection of addictive and hallucinogen potential in the next generation of psychoactive drugs to speed up the implementation of control measures by the EU.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) identified more than 700 new psychoactive substances (NPS) in 2019. This number is constantly increasing by synthesizing and introducing new substances which are “legal”, meaning not yet classified as controlled narcotic substances, however, possessing the same or even more potent psychostimulant and hallucinogenic properties as those already legislated as prohibited substances. A rapid information exchange and further risk assessment system is critical to activate the fast EU control measures. This would facilitate a faster prosecution and reduction of criminal activities associated with drug selling and ultimately, it should help to reduce the health risks and number of fatalities associated with intake of these largely unknow chemicals

The primary goal of NextGenPS is to develop a novel predictive strategy, which will allow early identification and characterization of new psychostimulants/hallucinogens with high abuse liability or ability to induce psychedelic effects. In this project, eight representative NPS characterized by limited scientific knowledge on their potential to induce drug dependence and/or hallucinogenic effects will be selected from the updated EU database.

Pronexus´ role in the project is to characterize by use of in vivo microdialysis, the effects of selected NPS on the amplitude and kinetics of release and clearance of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the neuroanatomical areas implicated in control of reward and addictive behaviour. The pharmacological profiles of NPS will be compared to the profiles of traditional drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy and DMT. The total budget of this two-years project equals 434184€, of which 347347€ was earmarked from the JUST-2020-AG-DRUGS programme.

Consortium NextGenPS

March, 2021, Stockholm.  Pronexus received a second project funding from the Eurostars programme

We are proud to announce that Pronexus as a partner with the biotech startup company Synendos Therapeutics AG and three other partners received funding from the EU call Eurostars-2, for the project named E! 114985: EndoCARE: Restoring endocannabinoid homeostasis to create the first effective & safe pharmacotherapy for PTSD. Among 571 applications submitted, EndoCARE project was ranked at position 58 (number 13 among 88 Swedish applications) with a total score of 468 points (78%) of 600.

EndoCARE aims to develop the first effective and safe pharmacotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As many as 20 million people in EU/US suffer from extreme fear, flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts as a consequence of experiencing a traumatic incident. Yet, no effective treatment exists for these PTSD patients. Disruption of the endocannabinoid system is a key factor in PTSD and represents a novel target to develop effective treatments. EndoCARE aims to expand proof-of-mechanism in preclinical studies of Synendos´unique selective endocannabinoid reuptake inhibitor, SYT-510 featuring a novel mode of action to restore the physiological homeostasis of the endocannabinoid system.

The role of Pronexus in the project is to measure SYT-510 and the selected biomarkers of the endocannabinoid system in the rat brain, plasma and CSF samples in order to provide neurochemical correlates with in vivo effects in a rodent model of PTSD. We will apply the UHPLC-MS/MS methods for quantification of major endocannabinoids (AEA, 2-AG, 1-AG) and related endogenous molecules including arachidonic acid, N-acyl ethanolamines, prostaglandins and stress hormones, as well as the levels of SYT-510 in these samples. The second UHPLC-MS/MS method will be used to measure the major monoamine- and amino acid-neurotransmitters: dopamine, noradrenaline, 5-HT, histamine, glutamate and GABA in the samples dissected from the brain areas anatomically relevant to the pathophysiology of PTSD.

The goal of the EndoCARE project is to provide preclinical evidence for the efficacy of SYT-510 in the rat PTSD model, and expand proof-of-mechanism studies on the mode of action of SYT-510, enabling a translational preclinical package to derisk the planned clinical programme. The total two-years project budget equals ~€2.7M, of which ~€1.3M was earmarked from the Eurostars programme and ~€1.4M will be co-financed by the consortium.

September 8, 2020, Stockholm.  Pronexus receives a project funding from the Eurostars programme

We are proud to announce that Pronexus as a partner with the drug discovery company Abfero Ltd. and two university partners have received funding for the project application E! 114370: PD-IRONSYN from the EU call Eurostars-2. Among more than 400 applications submitted, the PD-IRONSYN was ranked at position 3 (number 1 among 94 Swedish applications) with a total score of 547 points (91,2%) of 600, threshold 402 points.

   The objective of the project is to obtain preclinical proof-of-performance for a first-in-class, non-toxic iron chelating compound as a disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD affects about 1.2 million Europeans, a number that is expected to double by 2050. The main applicant Abfero has developed SP-420, a novel iron chelator that aims to prevent the accumulation of iron ions in the brain in order to reduce iron-related oxidative stress, cell death (ferroptosis) and alpha synuclein aggregation, well known neuropathological hallmarks of PD.

Pronexus will carry out PK/PD studies to establish the targeted bioavailability of SP-420 and its analogues in the brain by use of microdialysis and to measure the PK profiles of SP-420 and the potential metabolites by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Another aim of this task will be to develop and validate the LC-MS/MS methods which will fulfil the FDA and EMA guidelines for bioanalytical method validation acceptable for analysis of clinical samples.

The final goal of the PD-IRONSYN project is to deliver the preclinical data for the efficacy of the SP-420 iron chelator, which will be sufficient to initiate the subsequent clinical trials. The total 3-years project costs equal ~€1.98M, of which ~€1.02M was earmarked from the Eurostars programme and ~€0.96M will be co-financed by the consortium.