What is PD-MitoQUANT?
PD-MitoQUANT is an Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project that brings together academic experts, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), pharmaceutical companies from the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and patient advocacy organisation Parkinson’s UK to:
improve our understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s
identify and validate molecular drivers and mechanisms in Parkinson’s, and
discover innovative therapeutic targets that can be further progressed by the EFPIA partners in future.
Why is PD-MitoQUANT important?
New, more effective treatments are urgently needed for the more than one million people living with Parkinson’s in Europe today. While there are lots of different treatments which help improve some of the symptoms of this condition, they do not improve all symptoms, nor do they slow or prevent disease progression over time, and long-term drug treatment can cause harmful side effects.
Research has considerably advanced our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s, but better understanding and improved pre-clinical tools are needed to develop better therapies. Mitochondria are the ‘powerhouses’ of the cell, but also contribute to cell death and neurodegeneration when they malfunction. There is considerable evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in Parkinson’s, but no effective treatments have been developed based on this knowledge.
What will PD-MitoQUANT achieve?
The overall objective of PD-MitoQUANT is to deepen our understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s.
PD-MitoQUANT assembles world-leading experts in a wide range of areas such as mitochondrial function, ageing, cellular models of Parkinson’s, advanced imaging, data-driven machine learning, systems modelling, and more.
The team uses innovative computational, cellular and in vivo models to identify the signatures of progressive mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s. This, in turn, will identify novel targets for new treatments for this condition and other neurodegenerative diseases.
PD-MitoQUANT develops better models for studying Parkinson’s and builds on their existing expertise in cellular and in vivo models by applying cutting edge technologies, such as super-resolution imaging, innovative microfluidics and 3D ‘Organ-on-a-Chip’ (OrganoPlate®).