News: Centre FoRmulaEx related to Chalmers University of TechnologyWed, 17 Aug 2022 12:54:43 +0200 for a method that enables full development of RNA-based medicines<p><b>​RNA-based therapeutics had their big breakthrough as a Covid vaccine. But in order to also be able to cure cancer and other diseases, a refined technology is needed that increases the uptake of RNA into the cell. Elin Esbjörner and Marcus Wilhelmsson have led a research team that has developed a method that facilitates this development. For this, they now receive the Areas of Advance Award.</b></p>​<img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/A_A_Elin-Esbjorner_2.jpg" alt="Elin Esbjörner " class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>They are from different research areas</strong>, but have shared lunch rooms for many years.</span><div>” We have talked for a long time about collaboration to test if Marcus' fluorescent short <span style="background-color:initial">RN</span><span style="background-color:initial">A could be used in live cells but have never had a platform for it. In 2017, we, together with other researcher at Chalmers and other Swedish universities, received a large research grant that made it possible,” s</span><span style="background-color:initial">ays Elin Esbjörner, associate professor at the Department of Biology and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Bio</span><span style="background-color:initial">locical</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Engineering</span><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The FoRmulaEx research center</strong> was formed and a goal was set - if everything went well, they would have a method to produce fluorescent mRNA within six years.</div> <div>It took three.</div> <div>“mRNA is a molecule that assist in translating the genetic code to protein. It is used in Covid vaccines, but it also has great promise for cancer vaccines and to treat different types of genetic diseases. The potential is huge. But for this to work, these large and fragile molecules must become better at getting into the cells and reach their target. The functional uptake into the cells today is at best a few percent.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/PublishingImages/A-A_Marcus-Wilhelmsson_I0A4104.jpg" alt="Marcus Wilhelmsson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />This is where the fluorescent mRNA comes in</strong>. Marcus Wilhelmsson, professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, explains that it behaves like a natural mRNA, even though one of RNA’s own building-blocks here is replaced by a corresponding fluorescent building-block that has been developed by the team.</div> <div>“In this way you can follow mRNA molecules into the cell and see how they are taken up. The method makes it easier for the pharmaceutical industry and academic research groups to accelerate the development of mRNA medicines,” says Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To ensure that the method is utilized, the researchers have submitted a couple of patent applications and with the support of Chalmers Ventures and Chalmers Innovation Office, a company is being started up.</div> <div>“We are currently looking for a business developer and in a few weeks, the company will be up and running.”<br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>So how long can it take before</strong> the new technology can be on the market?</div> <div>“The fluorescent building block could be on the market within a year. Skilled labs around the world could use it to do their own investigations. A kit for the entire technology, which includes information about the production of the long mRNA strand, may take two years, says Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The method has already received a lot of attention, not least since the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) selected the project and the innovation for its annual 100 list. The Areas of Advance Award is another recognition that the results of their research which has also been done in collaboration with AstraZeneca, makes a difference.<br /><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><strong>“Sweden is not known</strong> for having many academic prizes, so it is nice to get that attention. It´s an honor, especially when you think about the talented people who have received the award before. We are very proud”</span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Related:</strong><br /><a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The FoRmulaEx research center</a><br /><br />Text: Lars Nicklasson</span>​</div> ​Wed, 15 Sep 2021 17:00:00 +0200 for tracking RNA with fluorescence<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have succeeded in developing a method to label mRNA molecules, and thereby follow, in real time, their path through cells, using a microscope – without affecting their properties or subsequent activity. The breakthrough could be of great importance in facilitating the development of new RNA-based medicines.</b></p><div>RNA-based therapeutics offer a range of new opportunities to prevent, treat and potentially cure diseases. But currently, the delivery of RNA therapeutics into the cell is inefficient. For new therapeutics to fulfil their potential, the delivery methods need to be optimised. Now, a new method, recently presented in the highly regarded Journal of the American Chemical Society, can provide an important piece of the puzzle of overcoming these challenges and take the development a major step forward.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Marcus%20Wilhelmsson%20spåra%20RNA%20i%20celler/Marcus%20Wilhelmsson_320x320.jpg" alt="" style="height:189px;width:189px;margin:5px" /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Since our method can help solve one of the biggest problems for drug discovery and development, we see<br />that this research can facilitate a paradigm shift from traditional drugs to RNA-based therapeutics,&quot; says Marcus Wilhelmsson, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, and one of the main authors of the article. </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Making mRNA fluorescent without affecting its natural activity</h2> <div>The research behind the method has been done in collaboration with chemists and biologists at Chalmers and the biopharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca, through their joint research centre, <a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/Pages/default.aspx">FoRmulaEx</a>, as well as a research group at the Pasteur Institute, Paris.</div> <div> </div> <div>The method involves replacing one of the building blocks of RNA with a fluorescent variant, which, apart from that feature, maintains the natural properties of the original base. The fluorescent units have been developed with the help of a special chemistry, and the researchers have shown that it can then be used to produce messenger RNA (mRNA), without affecting the mRNA’s ability to be translated into a protein at natural speed. This represents a breakthrough which has never before been done successfully. The fluorescence furthermore allows the researchers to follow functional mRNA molecules in real time, seeing how they are taken up into cells with the help of a microscope.</div> <div> </div> <div>A challenge when working with mRNA is that the molecules are very large and charged, but at the same time fragile. They cannot get into cells directly and must therefore be packaged. The method that has proven most successful to date uses very small droplets known as lipid nanoparticles to encapsulate the mRNA. There is still a great need to develop new and more efficient lipid nanoparticles – something which the Chalmers researchers are also working on. To be able to do that, it is necessary to understand how mRNA is taken up into cells. The ability to monitor, in real time, how the lipid nanoparticles and mRNA are distributed through the cell is therefore an important tool.</div> <div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Marcus%20Wilhelmsson%20spåra%20RNA%20i%20celler/Elin%20Esbjorner%20320x320.jpg" width="320" height="194" alt="" style="height:181px;width:181px;margin:5px" /></div> <div>“The great benefit of this method is that we can now easily see where in the cell the delivered mRNA goes, <br /><br />and in which cells the protein is formed, without losing RNA's natural protein-translating ability,” says Elin Esbjörner, Associate Professor at the Department for Biology and Biotechnology and the second lead author of the article.</div> <div><div> </div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Crucial information for optimising drug discovery</h2> <div>Researchers in this area can use the method to gain greater knowledge of how the uptake process works, thus accelerating and streamlining the new medicines’ discovery process. The new method provides more accurate and detailed knowledge than current methods for studying RNA under a microscope.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Until now, it has not been possible to measure the natural rate and efficiency with which RNA acts in the cell. This means that you get the wrong answers to the questions you ask when trying to develop a new drug. For example, if you want an answer to what rate a process takes place at, and your method gives you an answer that is a fifth of the correct, drug discovery becomes difficult,” explains Marcus Wilhelmsson.</div> <div> </div> <div>On the way to utilisation – directly into IVA’s top 100 list</div> <div> </div> <div>When the researchers realised what a difference their method could make and how important the new knowledge is for the field, they made their results available as quickly as possible. Recently, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) included the project in its annual 100 list and also highlighted it as particularly important for increasing societal resilience to crises. To ensure useful commercialisation of the method, the researchers have submitted a patent application and are planning for a spin-off company, with the support of the business incubator Chalmers Ventures and the Chalmers Innovation Office.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">The research was also featured in the academic journal Science Translational Medicine's popular &quot;In The Pipeline&quot; blog as a particularly exciting contribution to the field of research</a></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read the scientific article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS)</a></div> <div> </div> <div>For more information, contact:</div> <div> </div> <div>Marcus Wilhelmsson, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space:nowrap">+46 31 722 3051<a title="Ring: +46 31 722 3051" href="#" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important"><img title="Ring: +46 31 722 3051" alt="" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important" /></a></span>,</div> <div> </div> <div>Elin Esbjörner, Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, <span class="baec5a81-e4d6-4674-97f3-e9220f0136c1" style="white-space:nowrap">+46 21-772 51 20<a title="Ring: +46 21-772 51 20" href="#" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important"><img title="Ring: +46 21-772 51 20" alt="" style="overflow:hidden;border-width:medium;border-style:none;border-color:initial;height:16px;width:16px;vertical-align:middle;white-space:nowrap;float:none;margin:0px;display:inline;position:static !important" /></a></span>,</div> ​​Wed, 30 Jun 2021 08:00:00 +0200 mRNA to time its great escape perfectly<p><b>​​The ease by which mRNA-based drugs are taken up by cells in tissues is crucial to their therapeutic effectiveness. Now, a new detection method developed by researchers at Chalmers and AstraZeneca could lead to faster and better development of the small droplets known as lipid nanoparticles, which are the main method used to package mRNA for delivery to the cells.​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/ChemBio/" alt="Photo of Michael Munson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:218px" />“We have developed an automated process to monitor and test large numbers of different lipid nanoparticles simultaneously, which we hope will streamline the development of new medicines,” says <strong>Michael Munson</strong>, Postdoctoral Fellow at AstraZeneca R&amp;D, who is affiliated to the research centre FoRmulaEx, and is the first author of the study that was recently published in the journal Nature Communications Biology.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is the code used by cells to produce proteins. When it is introduced as a drug or a vaccine, it is interpreted by the cells as a set of instructions, to then use their own systems to produce the desired proteins.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">mRNA-based technologies are</span><span style="background-color:initial"> being explored for their potential to help treat chronic diseases in various ways, such as by encoding therapeutic proteins, and potentially be tailored for specific tissues, for example to replace incorrect proteins or regulate cellular malfunctions that cause disease.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>mRNA molecules are packed into lipid nanoparticles ​</span></h2> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>But the</span><span>re are several major challenges associated with this new technology. First, the cells must be ‘tricked’ into taking in the mRNA molecules. One of the most advanced ways of doing this is to pack the mRNA into a small droplet, known as a lipid nanoparticle. The nanoparticles enter cells in a large bubble called an endosome, which transports its contents to the cell's ‘lysosomes’, or degradation stations. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>The lipid nanoparticles containing the mRNA must exit the endosome at just the right moment, to reach the cell's cytoplasm, where the proteins are made, before the endosome reaches the degradation station. Otherwise, the mRNA will break down and no longer be able to work. This vital step is called ‘endosomal escape’ and timing it correctly is the most decisive factor for mRNA-based medicines to work. </span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Tracking the escape</span></h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The new study describes a method that the researchers developed to screen lipid nanoparticles for optimization of mRNA delivery. The method makes it possible to monitor the cell uptake, endosomal escape and delivery of mRNA in hundreds of samples at a time. To achiev​e this, the researchers combined fluorescence reporters to track the movement of the lipid nanoparticles through the cell, for protein expression and the endosomal escape events. The endosomal escape marker consists of a fluorescent variant of the protein Galectin-9 which accumulates at ruptured endosomes and <a href="">was adapted from work published by a research group in Lund​</a>.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“Instead of just seeing which lipid nanoparticles work best, we can now also understand what makes them work optimally, and use that knowledge to develop and test new improved nanoparticle formulations,” says Michael Munson.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Endosomal escape must be optimally timed​</span><span><br /></span></h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Elin Esbjörner</strong>, Associate Professor of Chemical Biology at Chalmers and co-author of<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/ChemBio/Elin%20Esbjorner_1_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Photo of Elin Esbjörner" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:218px" /> the study, explains the importance of delivering the mRNA to the target cells as precisely as possible: </span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“To redu</span><span style="background-color:initial">ce the risk of side effects, such as the immune system being triggered by the lipid particles, we want to use the lowest possible dose. This is particularly true for diseases which require long term treatment. In those cases, it is vital that the moment of endosomal escape is optimally timed, to allow the mRNA to get out into the cytoplasm with maximum effect,” she says. </span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">In addition to allowing the researchers to evaluate a large number of lipid particles at the same time, the new method can also help examine how efficiently the lipid particles are delivered and how well they function in different types of cells. This could allow for tailoring the drugs to target specific tissues, such as in the lungs or the liver.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“The lipid nanoparticles work differently in different cell types. A formulation that works well for delivery to liver cells, for example, could be significantly different in lung cells. Our new method could help us understand why such differences exist, and to harness this knowledge to design new lipid nanoparticles tailored for different targets in the body,” says Elin Esbjörner.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="font-weight:700">Photo of Michael Munson: </span>AstraZeneca<br /><span style="font-weight:700">Ph</span><span style="font-weight:700">oto of</span><span style="font-weight:700"> Elin Esbjörner: </span>Mikael WInters​<span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Read the scientific article: </strong><a href="">A high-throughput Galectin-9 imaging assay for quantifying nanoparticle uptake, endosomal escape and functional RNA delivery</a></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="background-color:initial">About FoRmulaEx:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> <br /></span><a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/Pages/default.aspx"><span>FoRmulaEx ​</span>​</a><span style="background-color:initial">is an industrial research center for functional RNA delivery. The three academic partners are Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, carrying out research in close collaboration with AstraZeneca, Vironova, Camarus and Nanolyze. The purpose is to contribute the foundational knowledge required to design safe and effective drug deliveries for the next generation of nucleotide drugs.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Wed, 09 Jun 2021 09:00:00 +0200“In-the-Pipeline”-blog.aspx publication covered in Science “In the Pipeline” blog<p><b>​The publication &quot;Stealth Fluorescence Labeling for Live Microscopy Imaging of mRNA Delivery&quot;, recently published online in J. Am. Chem. Soc. by the Wilhelmsson and Esbjörner groups at Chalmers with colleagues at AstraZeneca and CNRS, was mentioned less than a week after publication in the Science “In the Pipeline” blog, written by Derek Lowe. Great to see this impressive work being recognized!</b></p><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />​Link to the blog</a><div>​<br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Link to the publication​</a></div>Mon, 19 Apr 2021 10:00:00 +0200 study on mRNA delivery by exosomes in Nature Communications<p><b>​​An article on mRNA delivery by exosomes has been published in Nature Communications.</b></p>​<div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Hadi_Valadi.JPG" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:157px;height:195px" /><span></span><span style="background-color:initial">FoRmulaEx members Associate Professor Hadi Valadi, postdoc Marco Magueri from University of Gothenburg and Lennart Lindforss, Principal Scientist at AstraZeneca have together with colleagues recently published their discoveries on mRNA delivery by exosomes in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. We congratulate them on their inspiring achievement that will be of great use for the continued progress within FoRmulaEx. <br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read an article about the results in Akademiliv</a><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /><br />Illustration: </span><span style="background-color:initial">iStockPhotos<br />Photo: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Elin Lindström​</span></div>Tue, 04 Feb 2020 00:00:00 +0100 of PhD students and Postdocs completed for 2018<p><b>With the recruitment process completed of 8 Postdocs and 2 PhD students earlier in 2018 the project is fully staffed and the research and collaboration activity in FoRmulaEx is high. Read more about our newly recruited and talented researchers. ​​</b></p><span><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>For an ambitious and challenging research project as FoRmulaEx to be successful the recruitment process of the researchers that will carry out the main part of the lab work, Postdocs and PhD students, is crucial. We are delighted to have completed this important task and found a group of talented and dedicated researchers to welcome to FoRmulaEx. They are listed and briefly presented below with links to their respective profile pages where you can find more information. With the recruitment process completed, the research activity is high within the project and we look forward to share more updates regarding our scientific achievements going forward.<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)"><br /></span></p> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Chalmers University of Technology </h4> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Group of Prof. Fredrik Höök</strong> (<em>Department of Physics)</em><br /></font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="">Dr. Nima Aliakbarinodehi </a> (Postdoc) has a background in microsystems and in the design, fabrication and characterization of biosensors from his PhD studies at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. In FoRmulaEx Nima will focus on developing new platforms to study the interaction between RNA-loaded lipid nanoparticles and lipid model membranes to give a deeper insight into the endosomal escape process.</li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><span style="color:rgb(51, 51, 51);background-color:initial"><a href="">Mattias Sjöberg</a> (PhD student) has a BSc in Engineering Physics and MSc in Nanotechnology from Chalmers. In his research project within FoRmulaEx he develops new surface-based bioanalytical sensing methods with high sensitivity to characterize biological nanoparticles. <br /></span><br /></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Group of Assoc. Professor Elin Esbjörner Winters</strong> <em>(Department of Biology and Biological Engineering)</em><br /></font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/staff/Pages/gallud.aspx">Dr. Audrey Gallud</a> (Postdoc) holds a PhD from the Institute of Biomolecules Max Mousseron in Montpellier (France), focused on glyco- and nano-vectors for therapeutic targeting against rare pathologies. Prior to joining FoRmulaEx, Audrey worked at the Karolinska Institutet for 3 years studying the immunotoxicity of engineered nanomaterials. In FoRmulaEx Audrey focuses on how to develop novel technologies that will allow successful translation of RNA modalities into the clinic.</li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/staff/Pages/celauro.aspx">Dr. Emanuele Celauro</a> (Postdoc) has a background in biology and genetics and pursued his PhD studies at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. His research interests and his activities within FoRmulaEx includes endocytosis, vesicular trafficking and intracellular delivery of therapeutic DNA/RNA.<br /><br /></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Group of Prof. Marcus Wilhelmsson</strong> (<em>Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering)</em></font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/baladi.aspx">Dr. Tom Baladi</a> (Postdoc) is an organic chemist that prior to FoRmulaEx pursued his PhD at the Institut Curie / Université Paris-Saclay, Paris, France as well as a one-year Postdoc position at the Institut de Chimie de Nice, Nice, France. In FoRmulaEx, Tom works on the synthesis of fluorescent base analogs and their incorporation into oligonucleotides and RNA. The goal is to follow oligos and RNA in different in vitro setups to enable studies of delivery systems and the fate of these types of drugs. </li></ul> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Jesper-Nilsson.aspx">Dr. Jesper Nilsson </a> (Postdoc) holds a PhD from Chalmers and in his research, he applies spectroscopy-based techniques to study conformation, dynamics, and protein interactions of nucleic acids, in particular RNA, using fluorescent nucleic acid base analogs. The overall aim of his research is to develop and implement novel tools for studying e.g. cell uptake, intracellular distribution, and target interactions of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics.<br /></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><br /></font></p> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">University of Gothenburg</h4> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Group of Assoc. Professor Hadi Valadi</strong> (<em>Inst. Medicine, Dept. Rheumatology and Inflammation</em>)</font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href=";departmentId=035540">Dr. Marco Magueri</a> (Postdoc) holds a PhD in Biology from the University of Catania, Italy. During his PhD studies Marco worked with cancer biology and the mechanisms underlying cancer response to anti-tumoral therapeutics, particularly the exosomal and cellular microRNAs involvement in the progression and the drug response of colorectal cancer and neuroblastoma. Marcos main interest lies in exosomal RNA loading and packaging system, and in FoRmulaEx he studies exosome-based therapeutic RNA delivery.<br /></li></ul> <font color="#333333"><br /></font><p></p> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Karolinska Institutet</h4> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Group of Professor Molly Stevens</strong> (<em>Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics</em>)</font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href=""> Dr. Miina Ojansivu</a> (Postdoc) has a background in tissue engineering and holds a PhD in osteogenic differentiation mechanisms of human adipose stem cells from the University of Tampere, Finland. Prior to joining FoRmulaEx she was a visiting researcher at University of Bergen developing bioprinting for bone tissue engineering. In FoRmulaEx, Miina focuses on the study of hMSC-derived extracellular vesicles, their role in the process of osteogenic differentiation and the visualization of natural and synthetic vesicles with super-resolution microscopy. </li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><strong>Group of Ass. Professor Samir El-Andaloussi</strong> (Dept. Laboratory Medicine)</font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="">Dr. Taavi Lehto</a> (Postdoc) main research interest lies on the development of various drug delivery systems and targeting strategies for different biomacromolecules, including oligonucleotides, and their use in therapeutic applications. Taavi holds a PhD in biomedical enginering from University of Tartu, Estonia and prior to joining FoRmulaEx, he has visited Ludwig Maximilians University Munich as a post-doctoral research fellow as well as Universiry of Tartu as a researcher. In FoRmulaEx, Taavi mainly studies the production, delivery and uptake of extracellular vesicles (labeled, RNA-loaded etc.) over different source and recipient cell lines. </li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><font color="#333333"><span style="background-color:initial"></span></font></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="">Jeremy Bost </a> (PhD student), has a background in biochemistry and previous experience from optimization of extracellular vesicle (EV) isolation methods and their influence on EV cargo as well as EV association and interaction with small RNAs. This experience he has gained from internships at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of Oxford. In FoRmulaEx, Jeremys interests lies in the engineering of EVs for loading and targeting as well as the influence of cell source and recipient line on EV uptake kinetics. </li></ul></span><div><br /><a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/about/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the industrial research centre Formulaex </a><br /></div>Fri, 01 Mar 2019 09:00:00 +0100 MSEK for developing target seeking biological pharmaceuticals<p><b>​The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) invests 75 million SEK in an industrial research centre managed by Chalmers Professor Fredrik Höök. The project focuses on encapsulating biological pharmaceuticals into nanoscale carriers in order to reach the body’s cells and treat severe diseases. </b></p>​<span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Fredrik_Hook_300x350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="height:290px;width:250px;margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>&quot;A promising candidate for treating today’s incurable diseases is to reprogram the cells. However, since the reprogramming must take place inside the cell the pharmaceutical must penetrate the cell membrane. Designing and encapsulating biological molecules in nanocarriers so that they are capable of this is very challenging. That’s why it’s important with a broad-scale collaboration between the academia and the industry, says Fredrik Höök, Professor in biological physics at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and academic leader for Formulaex. <br /><br />The industrial research centre will focus on so called nucleotide-based therapeutics and in the consortium Chalmers collaborates with the lead industrial partner Astra Zeneca as well as Camurus, Vironova, Gothenburg Sensor Devices and the academic partners Karolinska Institute and University of Gothenburg. <br /><br />The centre will study fundamental requirements for pharmaceuticals made from biological molecules like DNA and RNA – the code that is the foundation for how cells work. Present research on the improvement of pharmaceuticals’ transportation into a cell is based on fabricating nanoparticles which mimic naturally occurring processes in the human body. Cells can, for instance, communicate by exchange of nanocarriers.<br /><br />“I am looking forward to the new dimension this project will add to our ongoing research, which has potential value far outside this team of academic and industrial partners. The assembled excellence of the industry and the academia can hopefully generate a great benefit for society. We also hope that our region will become even more attractive within Life science”, says Fredrik Höök. <br /><br />Within the Chalmers’ team there are two more members: Professor Marcus Wilhelmsson at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Associate Professor Elin Esbjörner at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. <br /><br />The project “Functional delivery of nucleotide based therapeutics” will run for six to eight years and give a better understanding of the process of cellular uptake and endosomal escape of nucleotide based therapeutics. The work includes development of advanced analytical methods, biomolecular design, cell studies and development of nanocarriers and delivery of new genetic bases therapeutics.  <br /><br />Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren,<br /><br /><strong>Contact: </strong><br />Fredrik Höök, Academic leader, Professor at the Department of Physics, Chalmers, 0708-95 12 39,<br /><br /><strong>More information: </strong><br /><br /><a href=""><img src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" />Read the press release from The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Researc</a>h (in Swedish) <br /><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-Chalmers-innovation-paves-the-way-for-the-next-generation-of-pharmaceuticals.aspx"><img src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" />Read more about the research of Fredrik Höök. </a><br /><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-Chalmers-innovation-paves-the-way-for-the-next-generation-of-pharmaceuticals.aspx"></a><br /><span><span>Note: 75 MSEK equals approximately 7.9 MEUR (9 February 2017)<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span><br />Wed, 08 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0100