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12/1/2010 11:18:05 AM
CNRS and Astrid Research to Conduct Joint Research on Melanoma Therapy

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the National Center for Scientific Research of France and Astrid Research Inc, a Hungary-based bioinformatics company, today announced that they started a collaboration on a basic research project aimed at the development of a nucleic acid based melanoma therapy.

Nucleic acids play a dominant role in coordinating and maintaining cell functions. Therapeutic developments targeting impaired cells at the nucleic acid level is currently considered as innovative and promising approach in nanomedicine. Melanoma is an aggressive malignancy with a continuously increasing incidence - and unfortunately with limited therapeutic potentials.

"The most important technological challenges that need to be addressed in order to realize the promise of nucleic acid-based approaches to treating melanoma are efficient and safe delivery of the compounds to the targeted organs, and uptake of these compounds by relevant cells," said Chantal Pichon PhD, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at University of Orleans.

The research team led by Pr. Pichon at Centre de Biophysique Moleculaire (Molecular Biophysics institute) located at the CNRS campus of Orleans pursues extensive research on non-viral gene transfer methods and investigation of different routes for delivery into the cells. With the computational prediction possibilities provided by Astrid Research the joint team can successfully complete the drug candidate development process.

"High-throughput technologies created a huge demand for computational extensive bioinformatics applications - a specialty of our company. Our tools for in-silico design and modeling can support researches from the very beginning of the projects." said Dr. Zsolt Torok, Chief Scientific Officer at Astrid Research Inc. Preliminary results are convincing: upon administration of the compound, a longer survival period and a better progression rate was observed in mice. After modifications identified and carried out through the collaborative work, enhanced efficiency is hoped to be attained. Later on a clinical trial might be initiated.

CNRS

The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) is a government-funded research organization, under the administrative authority of France's Ministry of Research. As the largest fundamental research organization in Europe, CNRS carried out research in all fields of knowledge. For more information visit: http://www.cnrs.fr/index.php.

Astrid Research Inc.

Headquartered in Debrecen, Hungary, Astrid Research is one of the largest bioinformatics companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Astrid conducts extensive research and development activities to create software solutions for research institutions, university labs, pharmaceutical and biotech companies that are involved in preclinical genomic research. For more information visit: http://www.astrid.hu.

Other Headlines from CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) ...
 - A revolution in structural biology : X-ray laser imaging of single particles
 - CNRS and Astrid Research to Conduct Joint Research on Melanoma Therapy
 - A wide range of nano-coatings in a few spray applications
 - A new propulsion method for metallic micro- and nano-objects has been developed by researchers from the Institute of Molecular Sciences
 - CNRS 2010 Gold Medal awarded to Gérard Férey, chemist and materials designer

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