Applied research project "MMP-9 inhibitors as novel drugs blocking epileptogenesis" was awarded by National Centre for Research and Development to the Nencki Institute, together with OncoArendi Therapeutics.
In Poland 400 000 people suffer from the epilepsy, and its yearly costs are estimated at 14 billions EUR. A new approach to treat epilepsy is to address epileptogenesis. Prof. Leszek Kaczmarek’s laboratory has shown that matrix metalloproteinase, MMP-9 play pivotal role in animal epileptogenesis. Considering its enzymatic and extracellular nature, MMP-9 appears as a very attractive therapeutic goal. Unspecific MMP inhibitors were clinically tested, especially for cancer. Hence, there is a number of potential drugs that, however, have never been considered for epilepsy, opening a possibility to obtain use-dependent patent. This proposal aims at identifying such substances that would show elevated specificity towards MMP-9 and after penetration thorough the blood brain barrier could block epileptogenesis in clinically relevant models.