The Louvain Drug Research Institute (LDRI) of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), expert in nanomedecine, is participating in a new European program in a fight against diabetes. The aim is to develop new methods of treatment for the diabetic using nanomedicine that would be administered orally and allow the transport of the necessary therapeutic macromolecules to travel through the intestinal barrier rather than via injection.
Known as one of the most devastating diseases worldwide, in 2011 alone, 4,6 million of the nearly 400 million patients affected with diabetes lost their lives to this disease. In its efforts to find a more effective treatment against this blight, the European Commission has just released a budget of € 11 Million for a new research project known as TRANSIT. Directed by professor María José Alonso of the University of Santiago, the program combines the expertise of 17 pharmaceutical industrial partners together with large European research organizations of which the Louvain Drug Research (LDRI) UCL takes part.
The TRANSIT project aims to develop innovative nanomedicines that transport therapeutic macromolecules through the intestinal barrier. Its consortium combines a multidisciplinary expertise that will use nanotechnologies to find new methods to orally deliver the active peptides to the diabetic in hopes to replace the currently necessary injections. In this framework, the LDRI will focus more specifically on studying actually how the developed nanomedicines cross the intestinal barrier.
The Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Group directed by Professor Veronique Préat within the LDRI bring several years of research and study of nanomedicines which are the vectors of nanometric size capable of transporting an active molecule to a given therapeutic target.