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Danish researchers looking to find a way past the brain’s defence mechanisms

Researchers from Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen are taking part in a major European research consortium which aims to find new ways of treating neurological conditions. The consortium is financed by a grant of DKK 67 million from the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative.

One major issue connected to the treatment of diseases of the brain is actually getting drugs into the brain and getting them to work. The reason is what is known as the blood-brain barrier which prevents unknown and harmful substances from penetrating the brain and causing damage. But the defence mechanism is so effective that it at the same time blocks drugs intended to counter diseases in the brain.

The new research consortium IM2PACT will now attempt to solve this challenge. Denmark’s participation in the project is headed by Associate Professor Morten Schallburg Nielsen from Aarhus University and Professor Birger Brodin from the University of Copenhagen. Together with H. Lundbeck A/S, they aim to develop stem cell models of the blood-brain barrier which will ultimately enable researchers to work out how to bypass the barrier. The Danish institutions will receive DKK 15 million from the total grant to IM2PACT.

The consortium is a part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative and consists of a total of 27 public and private partners from all over Europe. In addition to Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen, participants include the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical companies such as Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Novartis.

Read more about the project in the press release from Oxford University.


Associate Professor Morten Schallburg Nielsen
Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University
Email: mn@biomed.au.dk
Telephone: (+45) 2899 2387