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Neurodegenerative disorders: development of cannabinoid-based therapies

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Scientic Supervisor / Contact Person

Name and Surname
Javier Fernández-Ruiz

Localization & Research Area

Faculty / Institute
Institute of Neurochemistry Research
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine
Research Area
Life Sciences (LIF)

MSCA & ERC experience

Research group / research team hosted any MSCA fellow?
Research group / research team have any ERC beneficiaries?

Research Team & Research Topic

Research Team / Research Group Name (if any)
Neurodegenerative disorders: development of cannabinoid-based therapies
Brief description of the Research Team / Research Group / Department
The group is located at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Faculty of Medicine and is a member of the Complutense Institute of Neurochemistry Research, the IRYCIS and the CIBERNED. The PI is a Full Professor with more than 40 years of experience in the research in CNS disorders. He has published 249 research articles, 45 reviews and 43 book chapters, with a H-index of 70. The remaining members include senior researchers, postdoctoral and predoctoral researchers, Master and Degree students, and assistants, all with the necessary expertise in this research field. The presence of undergraduate and predoctoral students reflects the formative and training activity developed for many years by the group, reflected too in 21 doctoral thesis presented during the last 30 years, as well as in the long- or short-term visits carried out by numerous predoctoral and post-doctoral researchers coming from different countries. The group has received continuous funding during the last 30 years from national or international agencies, both public and private, and has maintained numerous collaborations with national or international groups working in the field of cannabinoids or CNS disorders, including a close collaboration with clinical groups (mainly in the field of Neurology) within the IRYCIS and CIBERNED. The group has also maintained an important transfer activity with patents and contracts with pharmaceutical or biotechnological companies in this research field
Research lines / projects proposed
At present, the group is interested in the development of cannabinoid-based therapies for neurodegenerative disorders, for which it collaborates with different groups of Medicinal Chemistry or with pharmaceutical companies working in the development of cannabinoid-based medicines (e.g GW Pharmaceuticals, UK; Emerald Health Pharmaceuticals, USA; Emerald Health Biotechnology-Spain; Symrise, Germany; ANKAR Pharma, Spain; Roche, Switzerland). The group is contributing in these collaborations with the biological characterization of phytocannabinoids and derivatives, as well as of new cannabinoid compounds, in relation with the identification of their pharmacological targets (mainly their activity at CB1/CB2 receptors but also GPR55 receptors), possible combinations of compounds and pharmacological synergies, biological activity in in vitro models, and therapeutic effects in in vivo models of different neurodegenerative disorders, including Huntington"s disease, Parkinson"s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia, and autosomal-dominant cerebellar ataxias. The group is particularly interested in developing disease-modifying cannabinoid-based therapies for these disorders, but also in the investigation of the role of the signaling system, the so-called endocannabinoid system, which contains the different targets for these therapies, in the pathogenesis of these disorders. These studies have progressed up to the development of clinical trials in some disorders (e.g. Huntington"s disease), pending of this clinical validation after an intense and positive preclinical work (e.g. Parkinson"s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or in the stage of preclinical validation (e.g. frontotemporal dementia, autosomal-dominant cerebellar ataxias)

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