Projects and clients
Mitocardia: Jan 2017 – Present
MitoCardia is a Network of 7 world-renowned fundamental and clinical research teams working within a trans-atlantic partnership to identify new approaches for treating a global health problem. Supported by the Fondation Leducq, these teams are working together to better understand dysregulation in the energy producing centre (mitochondria) of the cell itself. Opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP), a large conductance channel in the inner mitochondrial membrane, can initiate cell death. The teams are identifying ways to correct this dysregulation, identify ways to close the pores and reverse the progression of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiostemnet: Jan 2014 – Present
Cardiostemnet is an ongoing global collaboration funded by the Fondation Leducq aiming towards deciphering the stem cell components of the cardiac muscle to identify novel targets for therapeutic design. Partners are located in U.S.A (4 teams, 3 locations), UK, France, Germany and Australia, and the project is coordinated by Dr. T. Finkel (USA) and Dr. D. Sassoon (France).
Genechron: 2016 - Present
Genechron is a small and medium sized company headquartered in Rome, Italy, for which we are performing international business development and strategy consulting in the molecular diagnostics field with a focus on microRNA. Our role includes fundraising, international partnering, project and client development, standards consulting and feasibility studies.
Previous international and global projects previously managed by Echino personnel
Endostem Jan 2010 – Dec 2014
Endostem was a Private-Public collaborative R&D Project developing new strategies to activate and mobilize muscle tissue-associated endogenous stem cells for efficient tissue repair and as an alternative to stem cell transplantation. Molecules tested and developed included nitric oxide associated with non¬ steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, histone desacetylase inhibitor (Givinostat), Omigapil, HMGB1 and Cripto.
4 clinical trials were initiated during ENDOSTEM project:
• 2010: Phase IIa Clinical trial Using Nitric Oxide (NO) + NSAID as therapeutic agent
• 2013: Phase I studies using NO-NSAID combination (Isofen)
• 2013: Phase Ib/2a Study of HDACi (Givinostat) in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
• 2014: Phase 1 pharmacokinetic, tolerability and feasibility study with Omigapil in patients with Congenital Muscular dystrophy - CMD (Callisto CT)
It was a 22 industrial-academic partner international project (Teams located in Italy, UK, Switzerland, France, Spain and Germany): 15 academic and 6 industrial. Industrial partners were small, medium and large sized companies (Novartis, HMG Biotech, Coretherapix, Italfarmaco, Acceleron, Santhera).
Optistem Jan 2009 – Dec 2013
Optistem was a partnership of leaders in stem cell research and clinical translation that collaborated on a series of projects and concepts that focused on the development and implementation of clinical trials for genetic and acquired diseases of epithelia and skeletal muscle.
The project designed and developed therapies that:
1. Clinically validated the selected approaches using stem cells targeted to muscular and epithelial disorders (a phase I clinical trial with donor MABs from HLA-matched donors to be transplanted in patients affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Treatment of patients suffering corneal degeneration by autologous cultures containing limbal stem cells)
2. Integrated patient insight and need, matched with regulatory requirements for developing a cost effective stem cell product.
3. Targeted the diseased tissue and the inflammatory and fibrotic response to enable cell therapy to restore function.
It was a 18 industrial-academic partner international project (Teams were located in Italy, UK, Switzerland, France and Germany): 15 academic and 2 industrial. Industrial partners were small and medium sized companies (Molmed, Miltenyi).
Angioscaff Dec 2008 – Nov 2011
Angioscaff was a Private-Public collaborative R&D Project focusing on combining a framework of biomaterials and bioactive conjugates to develop regenerative strategies that would lead to therapeutic development of disease impacting:
• Cardiac tissue
• Cardiovascular tissue
• Skeletal tissue (bone)
• Skeletal muscle
• Soft tissue and skin
• Central Nervous system
The project generated 110 simultaneous portfolio projects, typically composed of 3-4 teams organised around addressing a key question related to one combination in one tissue, and validated in pre-clinically relevant models.
It was a 33 partner industrial-academic international project (Teams were located in Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Italy, Israel, Germany, Spain and Austria): 19 academic and 5 industrial. Industrial partners were small, medium and large sized companies (Kuros Biosurgery, Neuronova, Bio-Hyos, Biorigen, Intercytex, Miltenyi, Baxter, Bayer, Smith & Nephew, Baxter,).
Transvac Sep 2006 – Dec 2008
Transvac was an Industry academia partnership project that :
• Found an effective way to manage biomedical research alliances across the geographically dispersed multidisciplinary teams in portfolio projects.
• Achieved effective knowledge management within an organisational context to enhance the level of innovation.
• Optimised research and innovation management, and translation of existing and developed new knowledge into future biomedical applications .
This was achieved by partnering the following 4 focused and complementary leading centres:
-Fondazione Parco Biomedico San Raffaele in Rome (now closed): A stem cell research centre focusing on muscle, bone, cardiac tissues,.
-University of Cambridge Brain repair Centre: A centre which aims to understand, and eventually to alleviate and repair damage to the brain and spinal cord.
-EPFL Institute for Bioengineering: An institute focusing on regenerative medicine and pharmacobiology, specialises in chemical engineering polymeric biomaterials.
-European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network: An infrastructure supporting multinational clinical trials in Europe
Portfolio emphasis was placed on clinically translating regenerative therapies or identifying new approaches based on combination therapeutics.Once the core entities were aligned, this was then expanded to address all potential funding and partnership opportunities, which resulted in half a million euros of initial funding generating:
• €8 million for the core partners RTD initiatives (representing a 16 fold ROI for the core partners)
• Partnerships with 84 new teams in 11 countries
• €50 million raised for RTD
• €1.6 million raised for preclinical development
• €16 million raised for clinical trials
• €67 million in total raised for European research teams (representing a 134-fold return on the original investment)
• Nearly €6 million in non-dilutable capital for SMEs
Coordinated by Prof. C. Ffrench-Constant, this was a 3 year European-U.S.A.-Canadian partnership of 6 research teams performing early stage research on disease mechanism and target development for treating Multiple Sclerosis. Funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Coordinated and funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a partnership of 38 global teams (U.S.A, Europe, Canada, Australia) was planning and designing the optimal approach for clinically assessing a novel therapeutic for treating Multiple Sclerosis.