4SC Discovery, a subsidiary of 4SC, will receive a €450,000 (approximately $621,090) grant from the EU for research of new epigenetic compounds targeting cardiovascular diseases such as stroke.

The grant is part of the EU consortium “CVgenes-at-target” for the purpose of researching new therapeutic target structures for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases caused by an inflammatory reaction of the blood vessels. This project, which involves twelve partners in Europe, will be coordinated by Heribert Schunkert, M.D., from the German Heart Centre in Munich.

The recently launched collaboration between 4SC Discovery, the Medical Clinic of the University of Munich, and other companies and academic working groups is scheduled to run for about three years. The main collaboration partner of 4SC Discovery is Martin Dichgans, M.D., director of the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at the Medical Clinic of the University of Munich.

4SC Discovery will perform part of the compound screening, medicinal chemistry, and the optimization of the compounds' pharmacokinetics and solubility. The company will retain the rights to the identified substances. Preclinical trials with the compounds will be conducted at the Medical Clinic of the University of Munich to deliver the first proofs-of-concept.

The focus of the first part of the collaboration will be on researching the investigated epigenetic molecule as a possible therapeutic target structure for stroke. According to 4SC, epigenetic target structures such as histone deacetylases coordinate gene transcription and therefore play an important role in the development of cancer and neurological diseases. The role epigenetic modifications play in cardiovascular diseases will now be researched.

During the second part of the collaboration, additional target structures that potentially play a role in stroke development will be subjected to a compound screening and potential inhibitors will be identified and optimized.

“While cardiovascular diseases were not a focus for 4SC in the past, we have built a comprehensive knowledge base regarding the effective inhibition of HDAC molecules based on our epigenetic research especially in the field of cancer,” said Daniel Vitt, Ph.D., managing director of 4SC Discovery and CSO at 4SC. “As a result, we are now also viewed as a competent partner in other therapeutic areas in which epigenetic molecules play an important role.”

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