The European Commission has funded with over 5.8 milion Euros, the PAINCAGE project coordinated by Antonino Cattaneo, the Director of the Laboratory of Biology (Bio@SNS) at Scuola Normale Superiore. Antonino Cattaneo will coordinate a consortium of 9 international leading groups in the NGF, endocannabinoid and pain scientific arena.
So far, there are no effective treatments for neuropathic pain, and current treatments suffer from serious unwanted side effects. The Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) ligand-receptor system has recently emerged as a novel target for chronical neuropathic pain of great therapeutic potential, a master regulator, controlling both neuronal and inflammatory components. Besides being a multi-component system, it also modulates the endocannabinoid signalling. Recombinant molecules generated by the group of Antonino Cattaneo are currently under clinical evaluation in men as therapeutic candidates for different forms of chronic pain. The innovative proposal will investigate new strategies for the treatment of different neuropathic pain forms, based on the NGF system and its interplay with endocannabinoid signalling, focussing at different levels of the pain transmission and perception systems.
The project results will provide solid, mechanism-based grounds for the development of already identified second-generation therapeutics, based on the “NGF target” system, as well as for the identification and validation of new druggable targets emerging from the elucidated mechanisms.