Oxford BioDynamics Plc (LON:OBD) has today announced that it has been chosen as an industrial partner in a Horizon 2020 international research and innovation collaboration. The initiative on “Predictive Epigenetics” (PEP-NET), which has been granted €4 million, brings together an international consortium of 11 leading epigenetic research centres and five partner organisations* to develop practical translation of epigenetic regulation into therapeutically actionable outcomes.
• Horizon 2020 is the largest European funding programme for research and innovation
• The consortium brings together established leaders in theoretical and experimental epigenetic research to advance the use of predictive epigenetics into real world applications
• OBD, as an industry partner, is well positioned to access commercial opportunities arising from successful new applications of the EpiSwitch™ technology
The PEP-NET consortium comprises experimentalists and theoreticians whose goal is to develop a joint predictive modelling framework to further the understanding of fundamental epigenetic mechanisms. The outcome will present real world applications for the development of new technologies, and diagnostic and therapeutic tools to benefit patients.
This will be an important opportunity for OBD to increase utilisation of its EpiSwitch™ platform and further develop its technology globally, while helping to improve understanding of epigenetic controls and mechanisms. As an industry partner in this initiative, all parties will have access to OBD’s intellectual property for research purposes only.
Consortium member Professor Leonie Ringrose, Institute of Biology, Humboldt University, Berlin, commented:
“Epigenetic mechanisms are profoundly implicated in human health and disease. Despite the availability of large amounts of molecular data sets today, the field is still far from a satisfactory mechanistic understanding of many epigenetic processes. This unique collaboration of frontline researchers and commercial companies aims to combine quantitative experiments, predictive theoretical models, new modeling of data analysis and latest industrial tools of detection and monitoring to understand epigenetic regulation, with the aim to achieve both deeper fundamental understanding and better practical translation of epigenetic regulation into actionable patient stratifications. We have seen the practical value of EpiSwitch™ and believe this powerful platform will allow us to develop real world solutions.
PEP-NET will train a generation of European researchers to combine quantitative experiments with predictive theoretical models, and will exploit this knowledge to answer both basic and applied questions in epigenetics.”
Alexandre Akoulitchev, Chief Scientific Officer of Oxford BioDynamics plc, added:
“We are delighted to join such a powerful and creative group of established leaders in epigenetic research. Our technology will help better the understanding of epigenetic controls and mechanisms, with the ultimate goal to help translate latest epigenetic insights for the benefit of novel successful therapies, as well as patient diagnosis and prognosis. We strongly believe that our platform could be creatively utilised in many new ways to contribute to the frontline research and to further the development of OBD’s EpiSwitch™ technology globally. We are well aware how much the industry is looking for robust biomarkers with predictive and prognostic disseminating power. This is very much a question of understanding epigenetic controls, if we are to deliver reliable practical tools for applications in personalised medicine. “