Project: Nanosystems conjugated with antibody fragments to target/treat brain infections

Acronym TARBRAINFEC (Reference Number: JTC2018-049)
Duration 01/06/2019 - 31/12/2022
Project Topic Infectious diseases affecting the central nervous system (CNS) remain an important source of morbidity and mortality. A major obstacle for curing brain diseases is the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which impedes therapeutic agents to reach the brain and target the related pathogens. In this project, we want to develop a drug delivery nanosystem coated with antibody fragments, also called nanobodies (Nbs) as a proof of concept for crossing BBB and combating brain infections caused by bacteria, virus and parasite. To do this, we will generate nanobodies (Nbs) against neurotropic pathogens using two bacterial (Neisseria meningitides and Borrelia burgdorferi), herpes simplex virus (HSV) and the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei as the model systems. These Nbs will be further engineered to bear the transferrin receptor ligand in order to overcome BBB via the receptor-mediated transcytosis. The so-created Nbs will be then conjugated to the drug-loaded nanoparticles constructed with polymer or dendrimer nanovectors. The obtained nanotherapeutics will be characterized for their size, morphology, surface charge and stability as well as drug loading and release profile etc. The ability of these nanotherapeutics to across BBB will be assessed using an in vitro model of BBB, and their biological activity against the neurotropic pathogens N. meningitides, B. burgdorferi, herpes simplex virus (HSV) and T. brucei will be assessed in vitro using cell based experiments and in vivo using animal models. The success of this project will validate the proof-of-concept study to combine the nanobody technology with the nanotechnology based drug delivery for effectively overcoming BBB and treating brain infections. We expect to generate, in this project, clinical useful pilot results for the best performing candidates for future translation, and at the same time, research data of general scientific interest useful to the broad scientific community.
Network EuroNanoMed III
Call Joint Transnational Call (2018)

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Fundación para la Investigación Biosanitaria de Andalucía Oriental (FIBAO) - Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria de Granada (ibs.GRANADA) Coordinator Spain
2 Centre Nationale de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) Partner France
3 Nanosanguis Partner Poland
4 Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa, Spanish Research Council, (CSIC) Partner Spain
5 Institute of Neuroimmunology, Slovak academy of Sciences (SAS) Partner Slovakia
6 University of Crete Partner Greece