Discovery of analgesic drugs targeting the acid-sensing ion channel family

Challenge: Chronic pain affects at least 20% of the population and its societal costs exceed those of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes combined. Most chronic pain patients report many significant side effects from the current opiate-based treatments, including opioid addiction, and these treatments are not highly effective. New, non-opioid therapeutics are therefore needed. Solution: Professor Séguéla, an international expert and … Read More


Development of a high throughput 3D microphysiological platform for rapid automated assessment of human brain organoids response to drugs targeting neurological disorders

Challenge: Showing architectural similarities with the real human brain, brain organoids offer a promising avenue for understanding human biology, disease processes and for the development and validation of drugs to treat brain-related diseases. By engineering personalized organoids from the reprogrammed cells of patients, scientists can study disease in a very individualized way. However, brain organoids are not yet suited to … Read More


A Blood-Brain Barrier Carrier Platform for Delivery of Multiple Classes of Therapeutics for Treating CNS Diseases

Challenge: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an essential role in protecting the brain from blood-borne diseases. However, it blocks otherwise effective medicine from reaching the brain. Most drugs developed for treatment of central nervous system diseases fail because they aren’t optimally designed to cross the BBB. There is a need to identify natural transporters acting as ‘shuttles’ that can facilitate the … Read More


QUO2 MRI: Quantitative Measurement of Metabolic and Vascular Anomalies in the Brain of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Challenge: The underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) remain poorly understood, and only few dynamic biomarkers are available to monitor responses for experimental therapies. Neuroimaging methods such as structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect brain atrophy, but slow changes during disease progression cannot be measured during the timeframe of clinical trials, while functional MRI (fMRI) methods are not yet … Read More


A Drug Screening Platform to Increase Protein Expression Levels for Treatment of Neurological Disorders

Challenge: Neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders affect more than half the population, causing a huge burden on health care costs, lost productivity, and reductions in quality of life. These disorders of the nervous system can span a range of illnesses, including autism spectrum disorders, manic disorders, Parkinson’s disease, stress, depression, and anxiety. Many of these diseases and disorders are … Read More


Inducible human pluripotent stem cells to better understand and treat Parkinson’s disease and ALS

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are two of the most common and devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affecting one in 50 Canadians over 65 years old. A major roadblock to new drug development in neuroscience is the limited access to human neurons from affected patients. This limitation is now being addressed through the use of induced pluripotent stem … Read More


First-In-Class Melatonin MT2 Receptor Agonist for Neuropathic Pain: Investigational New Drug (IND) – Enabling Studies

Challenge: Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain disorder that can develop as a result of nerve damage caused by various medical conditions. Available treatments are very limited, and patients resort to using opioids to manage their pain, leading to dependence, tolerance and the so-called opioid-induced hyperalgesia, which is characterized by an increased pain after prolonged use of opioids. Research on … Read More


Exploitation of a new pharmacological target for the development and validation of new anti-inflammatory drugs

Challenge: Neuroinflammation (NI) is involved in a diverse array of degenerative conditions, ranging from multiple sclerosis (MS) to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Although treatment options are available for MS their effectiveness is not uniform and long-term use has significant side effects. NI-based disorders remain an area of high unmet medical need and new approaches and targets are required to find … Read More


In-vivo Solid Phase Microextraction Integrated with Mass Spectrometry Platform for Untargeted and Targeted Investigation of the Brain

Challenge: One of the major challenges currently faced by the pharmaceutical industry is the development of alternative approaches that allow the gathering of maximum information using a minimum number of animals. With regard to analytical instruments, mass spectrometers offer increasingly sensitive and quantitative determination of biological molecules. However, collected biological samples, especially tissues, require efficient sample preparation prior to mass … Read More


Catecholamine-Regulated Protein 40 (CRP40) as a New Candidate Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder afflicting 1 to 2% of the population over 65 years of age and for which there is neither a reliable diagnostic test nor cure. Since catecholamine-regulated protein 40 (CRP40) may be involved in regulation of dopamine in the brain, it represents a potential biomarker for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. … Read More