July 1, 2014
With the assistance of public and private research bodies, the network of enterprises operating in the Italian region of Lazio, consisting of Angelini, IRBM Science Park, IBN Savio and Ylichron, created the AICI project – Innovative Approaches for the Control of Infections – which on 29 May was approved for a contribution by the public notice “Insieme x Vincere” ("Together to Win") created with the joint resources of the European Union partly by the ROP (regional operative programme), ERDF and the Lazio Region.
The aim of this cooperation is to create a platform for the control of infections, to be done both by inventing and synthesising new chemical entities and by optimising formulae and industrial processes to guarantee greater effectiveness and appropriateness of use.
The control of infections and promotion of research for new molecules that can overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance, as well as the proper use of anti-infective drugs, are of crucial importance on the European and world scenes. Investment in Research and Development activities with projects in this sphere is therefore particularly important.
Researchers from firms in the network and the Research Bodies involved are participating in the project, which will permit diffusion of scientific knowledge, further adding to the high level of skills, including by organising specific occasions for scientific investigation with participation by Universities and Research Centres.
One of these events was held on 23 June last at the Angelini Research Center in S. Palomba – Pomezia, through the 1st Public Workshop, with the support and active participation of researchers, university lecturers and managers from the participating firms.
During the first part, the participating firms and their support for the initiative were introduced. A description of the project was then given, its different parts and the specific contributions towards achieving its aims. This was followed by three lectures, given by Prof. Giovanni Rezza of the Higher Institute for Health, Prof. Gian Maria Rossolini of the University of Florence, and Prof. Patrizia Brigidi of the University of Bologna. The contributions dealt with the principal matters related to the epidemiology of infectious diseases, to antibiotic resistance due to the emergence and re-emergence of important pathogenic strains, to new knowledge about the role played by intestinal microbiota in regulating immunity and protecting against the pathogenic microbial species for which there are no other effective treatment strategies at the moment.
The day ended with a meeting between the researchers of the network, during which the first results and operational strategies in this initial project phase were presented and shared.
The AICI platform is divided into eight lines of innovative research related to chemistry, formulae and process, organised in two parallel work programmes: from HIT to prototype (WP1) and from prototype to man (WP2).
The first programme (WP1) includes the earliest research phases and is organised in activities aimed at the design and synthesis of innovative antimalarial drugs and original antibacterial molecules, and the work takes into account the growing problems of antibiotic resistance. The second programme (WP2) includes four experimental approaches, which have in common the search for improvement in quality and suitability of treatments.