Development of a new class of oral and highly potent non-statin LDL-cholesterol lowering therapeutics for patients at high cardiovascular risk

Challenge: Blood level of cholesterol-rich low-density lipoproteins (LDLc) is directly correlated with the incidence of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk. Statins, currently the most prescribed class of lipid-lowering drugs, reduce LDLc by increasing LDL receptor (LDLR) gene expression. However, while being on maximally tolerated lipid-lowering therapy, a majority of high-risk patients still have uncontrolled LDLc and remain at high risk of … Read More


Multimodal digital biomarkers for the identification of companion diagnostic tools in cardiovascular diseases.

Challenge: The low efficacy of treatment is partially due to the heterogeneity of disease and population. Individuals do not respond the same way to treatment and can have very different clinical trajectories that are difficult to predict. In order to improve treatment efficacy, precision medicine approaches need to be considered. A refined selection of the population can help to enrich … Read More


Development of novel biologic inhibitors of Semaphorin3A for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases.

Challenge: Diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration are the leading causes of blindness in working age and elderly populations. While anti-VEGFs revolutionized treatment of retinal vasculopathies, currently available drugs can cause neuronal degeneration. Besides, over 40% of patients respond poorly to these treatments, leaving patients with no alternative, ultimately leading them to blindness. There is thus a clear need for … Read More


Development of a New Matrix for Pancreatic Islets Culture and its Validation in a Bioartificial Pancreas

Challenge: Islet transplantation is an efficient therapy to reverse type 1 diabetes. However, the long-term function of the graft is not ensured, and the problem of autoimmunity remains. An interesting alternative consists of a bioartificial pancreas in which islets are encapsulated. However, the islet environment within such a pancreas still needs to be improved to better preserve islet survival and function. … Read More


Genetic testing to guide therapeutic decision in diabetic patients of various ethnic backgrounds

Challenge: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is the leading cause of cardiovascular and renal diseases. Although many treatments are available, they only partially reduce the risk of serious complications in diabetic patients. As a first step towards reducing diabetes-related morbidity and mortality, the team had developed a Polygenic Risk Score (PRS) in T2D Caucasian patients that combines data on sex, age of onset and diabetes duration to better predict risks of complications. Because ethnicity and genetic … Read More


PulmoBind: A New Non-Invasive Marker for the Early Diagnosis of Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

Challenge: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a condition associated with loss of blood vessels in the lungs leading to a gradual increase in shortness of breath and substantial disability and mortality. The development of effective drugs is impeded by the lack of non-invasive tests to detect the disease at an early stage and to follow its progression. Solution: The goal of … Read More


Biomarkers Discovery in Diabetes: New Biomarkers for Measurement of Early Stage Diabetes Disease and for Prediction of Response to Therapy

Challenge: Pancreatic islets play a critical role in diabetes development with about 50% of their function being lost by the time pre-diabetic patients are diagnosed. Levels of pancreatic ß-cells are currently approximated through measurements of blood glucose, C-peptide, and insulin levels. There is therefore an urgent need to develop biomarkers that more accurately monitor the physiological status of pancreatic ß-cells, … Read More


A genetic test to predict diabetic nephropathy in Type 2 diabetes patients

Competition: SynergiQc 2017 Funding: $683,665 / 2 years Beginning: July 2017 Challenge: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) affects 1 in 11 individuals worldwide and leads to severe complications such as diabetic nephropathy (DN) that is present in about 40% of T2D patients. DN progresses from subclinical disease (microalbuminuria) to overt nephropathy, end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis or transplantation. Identifying T2D patients … Read More