A team led by Dr Gabri van der Pluijm from Netherlands Leiden University Medical Centre has received $150,000 Uro-Oncology Grant from the Astellas European Foundation.
The grant will be used to study ‘The Development of a Novel Small Molecule EMT Inhibitor for Clinical Use in Human Bladder Cancer’.
Dr van der Pluijm said: "We are delighted that the Astellas European Foundation is offering the opportunity to determine the validity of our approach in clinically relevant models of bladder cancer.
"Establishing a potential anti-tumour response of our lead compound will pave the way towards the initiation of Phase I clinical trials."
The project intends to assess the potential initiation of a Phase I study for a novel compound to treat bladder cancer.
Leiden University’s research team has selected a novel compound that blocks the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), after screening around 35,000 compounds. The EMT process is said to be an important step in the development of bladder cancer.
Astellas European Foundation trustee and Astellas Pharma EMEA medical affairs and health economics head Dr Ayad Abdulahad said: "The standard of entries this year was very high and covered a broad range of topics across urological oncology.
"The foundation would like to thank all of those who submitted proposals as we received a total of 60 entries from research institutions and hospitals from Europe and also from South Africa."
The foundation provides annual grants of $150,000 for uro-oncology, functional urology and uro-gynaecology, and transplantation.
Image: Dr Gabri van der Pluijm and his team secured $150,000 grant. Photo: courtesy of Astellas European Foundation.