Research Team Receives New Funding for Continued Research into the Blood-Brain Barrier

​The Lundbeck Foundation grants DKK 24 million in funding for the Research Initiative on Brain Barriers and Drug Delivery centre. The researchers will use the funding to continue their research into the mechanisms of the blood-brain barrier and the development of new molecules. 

A team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Aarhus University (AU) and Aalborg University (AAU) has received a new grant of DKK 24 million from the Lundbeck Foundation. The funding enables the researchers to continue their research into the transport of large molecules’ from the blood to the brain at the Research Initiative on Brain Barriers and Drug Delivery centre.

The team consists of Head of Centre and Professor Martin Lauritzen (UCPH and Rigshospitalet), Professor Birger Brodin (UCPH) and Professor Kristian Strømgaard (UCPH) as well as Professor Thomas Lars Andresen (DTU), Associate Professor Morten Schallburg (AU) and Professor Torben Moos (AAU). In 2014 and 2017 the research team received grants of DKK 40 and 20 million, respectively, from the Lundbeck Foundation, and it is the team’s promising results that have made the foundation grant them the new funding.

‘It is the third time we provide Martin Lauritzen’s team with a large grant. We are very pleased with their results and are proud to be able to continue to support this important and exciting project that has already given us vital insight into the mechanisms of the blood-brain barrier,’ says Programme Manager at the Lundbeck Foundation Lars Torup.

The project consists of two parts. The first part of the project examines the properties of the barrier separating the blood from the brain and the mechanisms for circumventing this barrier. This will enable transport of large molecules such as therapeutic antibodies across the barrier.

The second part of the project focusses on the development of new molecules, which – after having passed the barrier – can free large amounts of therapeutic molecules in the microenvironment around the sick brain cells. The team and its staff have already established models and protocols that make it possible to study the large molecules’ path into the brain.

’Over the first five years we have developed new strategies that may be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. We have discovered new characteristics of the blood-brain barrier, which will be taken into consideration in the design of new drugs. Our new knowledge of the barrier will help us design and provide biologically based drugs for the sick areas of the brain,’ says Head of Center Martin Lauritzen from the Department of Neuroscience, UCPH and Rigshospitalet.

’The body’s handling of macromolecules is complex, and we must continue our thorough research project to learn how we can provide the right part of the brain with the right amount of drugs at the right time. We expect the team’s diverse skills to be of great importance when it comes to solving these challenges, which eventually will benefit patients suffering from brain disorders and their family and friends,’ says Professor Martin Lauritzen.

The Lundbeck Foundation granted the team the latest funding after having received extremely positive peer reviews of the project. The Research Initiative on Brain Barriers and Drug Delivery centre was founded in 2014 and is funded by the Lundbeck Foundation. The new grant, which is a continuation of an existing grant, enables the researchers to continue their research until 2021.

Contact:
Professor and Head of Center Martin Lauritzen
Phone: +45 24841840 / +45 51298169
Email: mlauritz@sund.ku.dk

Centre Coordinator Henriette Lajgaard Christensen
Email: henriettelaj@sund.ku.dk
Phone: +45 26221244



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