MAR4PAIN

Novo analgésico para tratamento da dor crónica com origem no mar português
New analgesic for treatment of chronic pain with Portuguese sea origin

Project ID | ALG-01-0247-FEDER-011079
Main Goal | Reinforce research, technological development and innovation
Intervention Area | Algarve and Lisbon
Beneficiary Entity | Sea4Us - Biotecnologia e Recursos Marinhos, Lda.

Approval Date | 25-05-2016
Starting Date | 01-04-2016
Ending Date | 31-03-2018
Total Eligible Cost | 506.850,02€
Financial support from the European Union | 353.071,75€

Expected / Obtained Objectives, Activities and Results | The main aim of the Mar4Pain project is the development of new pharmaceutical drugs through the investigation and use of new marine compounds for biotechnological purposes. It has particular emphasis on moderate to severe chronic pain, addressing the modulation of ion channel activity in small diameter dorsal root ganglion neurons. This will reduce the perception of pain by acting on pain-conducting neurons away from the brain, which considerably reduces side effects of usual therapies (e.g. opioids). The ion channel modulators consist of new molecules from marine sessile animals from the Portuguese coastal region, which have been discovered through Sea4Us's prior investigation. The expansion of our marine extracts/compounds library, bioactive molecules identification, non-clinical efficacy and toxicity tests, and industrial property registration, are all specific goals of the 2 year-long Mar4Pain project. Besides the allocation of a team within Sea4Us with strong competences in the field of the project, it also has the contribution of researchers from other R&D-specialized entities.

Mar4Pain is structured into the following activities:
- Marine extracts production;
- Determination of analgesic bioactivity in chronic pain models;
- Bio-guided chemical study for the identification of bioactive molecules;
- Proof-of-concept pre-clinical studies;
- Submission of national and international patents of the molecules of marine origin with analgesic activity;
- Dissemination;
- Project Management.

The project goals are:
- Expansion of compound library;
- Determination of the chemical structure of the compounds most suitable for chronic pain treatment;
- Determination of the viability of the compounds as therapeutic molecules with chemical drug characteristics;
- Evaluation of efficacy and toxicity of the isolated molecules;
- Determination of the drug administration method;
- Determination of PK / PD models;
- Patent protection;
- Dissemination of results through communications at conferences, seminars, workshops and publications in international journals, and the development of a microsite;
- Improvement of the company’s research, development and innovation management.

Progression of the Mar4Pain project is indicated in the figure below, which depicts some activities and goals.