Project 1: Investigating KALRN as a novel target for the treatment of schizophrenia
- Lead Institution: University of Oxford
- Partner Institution: Earlham Institute
- Funding Partners: Boehringer Ingelheim & Biogen
- Project Launch: 1st December 2020
- Project Duration: 18 months
KALRN is thought to play an important role in the regulation of neuronal communication, which is known to be altered in the brains of people with schizophrenia. Restoring this communication may therefore improve symptoms. However, the kalirin gene can code for lots of different types of kalirin molecules that have different effects on brain cell communication, and little is known about which types of kalirin are present in human brain.
This project will use a newly-designed technical approach to determine the full sequence of the primary kalirin isoforms, and the functional domains contained within them, in the human brain. The relative profile and abundance of different kalirin isoforms will then be compared between different human tissues
This project will enable detailed characterization of the primary kalirin isoforms in the human brain and an understanding of the potential toxicology implications of targeting kalirin.
Using this information, the project will enable the team to identify the types of kalirin that represent the most promising drug targets for schizophrenia, determine how they affect the function of cells, and begin to develop drugs to alter their function.
To read more about this project, read our press release >
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The role of Medicines Discovery Catapult:
As managing partner, MDC provides critical support at every stage of the project development process. The Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager (PM) works closely with the project partners to design a comprehensive project plan and create the contractual frameworks required to launch the project. When a project reaches the delivery phase, it’s progress and outcomes are overseen by the PM on a monthly basis.