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"Tracing the pain - Institute of Biology NCSR "Demokritos""
 
PUBLIC RELATION AND PRESS OFFICE
PRESS RELEASE
Athens, 12 February 2007
 
Institute of Biology
NCSR "Demokritos"


Tracing the pain


European researchers develop "Smart Drugs" for cancer-related pain therapies

With two million euro the European Union supports a research project, which will develop new active substances for pain therapy for critically cancer-ill patients. Eleven partners from six European Union countries are involved and collaborate in the project named "Normolife". The project is led by the Medical Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.

The Greek partner in the consortium Dr Zafiroula (Iro) Georgoussi is a Principal Research Investigator of the Institute of Biology of the National Centre for Scientific Research "Demokritos" located in Athens. Her group of Cellular Signalling and Molecular Pharmacology focuses on the elucidation of the molecular signalling pathways mediated by the opioid receptors known to be the principal receptors involved in the perception of pain. Her goal in this project will be to study the effects of novel compounds and identify unanticipated interactions and the existence of multicomponent complexes involved in opioid receptor function.

The project refers to the latest neurobiological research. It is known today that receptor molecules, transmitting the pain perception from the affected organs to the spinal cord and then to the brain, transform with inflammations or tumour illnesses. The blockade of these mutated pain receptors by a new class of "smart drugs" promises a better effect as the use of traditional medicines with only one target. The new medicines attack not only specifically at the mutated receptors, but block at the same time the transmission of the pain signals to the brain on several levels.

The first and foremost research aim will be the identification of approximately ten substances by means of different test systems. These compounds will be analyzed even more deeply and prepared for the further development. Therefore "Normolife" is a crucial step towards the following clinical studies on the new drug's effectiveness in the human body.

Contact:
Dr Iro Georgoussi
Laboratory of Cellular Signaling and Molecular Pharmacology
Institute of Biology
National Centre for Scientific Research "Demokritos"
Ag. Paraskevi, Athens, Greece
Tel: 30-210-6503564, 30-210-6503586 Fax: 30-210-6511767

Email: iro@bio.demokritos.gr


 
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Date: 23/2/2007
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