Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Rhenovia Pharma, a leading biotech company specialized in biosimulation applied to the discovery of new medications, has announced that it has developed the first computer simulator for the biological mechanisms of epilepsy, validated by laboratory experiments. The simulator has been developed within the framework of RHENEPI, a consortium initiated and led by Rhenovia Pharma under the French government's 'Fonds Unique Interministeriel' (FUI) to support applied research, and the competitive clusters Alsace Biovalley and Lyonbiopole.
The RHENEPI consortium brought together the biotechnology companies Rhenovia Pharma and SynapCell with academic research teams led by Dr. Antoine Depaulis from the Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience (GIN) and Dr. Laurent Fagni from the Institute of Functional Genomics (IGF) in Montpellier. RHENEPI received total funding of EUR 2.5 million in 2010 to develop the platform for the biosimulation of epileptic features.
The team, comprising twelve neuroscience researchers and engineers in physics, mathematics and bioinformatics, relied on Rhenovia Pharma's modeling and simulation technology. It was guided by first-rate neurologists. Researchers conducted a three-year program of interactive studies performing computer modeling supported by laboratory-based experimental validation.
A major advance with a range of applications
The simulator replicates the basic biological mechanisms underlying the signal transmission between brain cells and simulates its defects leading to epileptic patterns. Now operational, it should contribute to the prevention of epileptic seizures and lead to the discovery of new therapies.
The key applications of the simulator are as follows:
"Developing a computer simulator for epilepsy posed a real scientific, technological and medical challenge," said Dr. Serge Bischoff, CEO of Rhenovia and RHENEPI program director. "This challenge has been successfully met as a result of the combined talents of a consortium with multidisciplinary expertise and funding from the European Union, the French state, the Alsace region and the two SMEs involved, Rhenovia and SynapCell. Rhenovia is proud to have succeeded in developing an epilepsy simulator which represents a major advance, giving hope to patients and their families, particularly those whose epilepsy is resistant to current treatments or might become resistant."
"We can quickly verify some of our working hypotheses where biosimulation is validated by experiments in animal models of epilepsy recognized by the medical community. More importantly, we can formulate new hypotheses," said Dr. Antoine Depaulis, director of research at INSERM, France's national institute of health and medical research and director of the epilepsy team at the Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience (GIN). "Beyond the development of new treatments, biosimulation is a considerable asset in our exploration of the pathophysiology of pharmaco-resistant forms of epilepsy."
"A significant proportion (30 per cent) of epileptic patients do not respond satisfactorily to the treatments available. They continue to experience fits, despite treatment. With all the consequences that this implies, all too often a combination of treatments is required. This puts them at risk of multiple serious adverse effects," said neurologist Dr. Laurent Vercueil, a doctor at Grenoble University Hospital and general secretary of the French League against Epilepsy. "In this context, the discovery of innovative and original treatments is keenly anticipated. In silico research, based on models which challenge traditional conceptions, makes a decisive contribution in this respect."
Epilepsy is a condition affecting around one per cent of the world's population. It is a major neurological disorder that affects people of all ages, but particularly children and the elderly (source: French League against Epilepsy).
A significant economic challenge
Rhenovia now intends to turn this technological innovation into commercial success. It will introduce the computer simulator for epilepsy to the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology companies. This could be as a service provider, by working in partnership or in strategic alliances with them. These organizations will be able to improve the quality of their pipeline by identifying new treatments for epilepsy or repositioning existing molecules, also by providing their toxicology and safety department with prior assessment of the convulsion risks of candidate drugs targeting other pathologies.
The simulator could have other applications. It could be used by regulatory authorities to reduce the convulsion risk from chemical substances or pollutants (such as nanoparticles or pesticides). It could also be of use to the defense sector in identifying antidotes to chemical weapons which attack the nervous system.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Epilepsy category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Pharma, Rhenovia. "Rhenovia Pharma announces the development of the first simulator for the biological mechanisms of epilepsy." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 30 Oct. 2013. Web.
5 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/268101>
Pharma, R. (2013, October 30). "Rhenovia Pharma announces the development of the first simulator for the biological mechanisms of epilepsy." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/268101.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.