Government-funded RHETOX initiative will exploit Rhenovia technology to evaluate effects of biowarfare agents and develop antidotes.

Rhenovia Pharma is to head a €1.15 million (about $1.7 million) French government-funded collaboration with the French Army’s Biomedical Research Institute (IRBA), focused on developing the firm’s biosimulation technology for use in evaluating the neurobiological effects of battlefield neurotoxic agents.

Through the RHETOX initiative, the partners will design and develop a biosimulation platform that incorporates molecular elements needed to analyze the effects of organphosphoric neurotoxic agents such as the sarin and soman, as well as pesticides and insecticides like paraoxon, which have similar chemical characteristic and pharmacologic properties, Rhenovia states. The firm will receive €850,000 of the overall project funding.  

The resulting neurotoxicity biosimulation platform will aid in the identification of new approaches to counteract the effects of neurotoxins, and thus accelerate the discovery and development of specific antidotes, both for military personnel and civilians, Rhenovia points out. Moreover, the technology will also have applications in the pharma field for use in predicting the secondary neurotoxic effects of any drug or NCE on different neuronal targets, and potentially for use in the development of substitutes for potentially neurotoxic pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides.  

“This project will make it possible to take better account of the complexity of biological systems and their interactions with neurotoxins, and will lead to the development of fast, powerful, specific, and safe measures to protect against and combat poisonings,” comments Serge Bischoff, Ph.D., Rhenovia’s president and CEO.

Rhenovia Pharma specializes in the development and optimization of treatments for Alzheimer disease and other diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The firm’s biosimulation platform is a computational system for modeling cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in learning and memory, and a range of other impaired brain functions associated with neurological diseases such as epilepsy, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer or Parkinson diseases, and psychiatric indications such as schizophrenia and depression.

Rhenovia is exploiting its technology both in house and through its Rhenovia Drug Development Optimization Services package, through which the biosimulation platform is made available to biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms for target and drug discovery and development projects.

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