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Projektpartner 1 (Konsortialführer)Schlaak

Prof. Dr. Jörg F. Schlaak

Klinik für Gastroenterologie und Hepatologie

Universitäts-Klinikum-Essen

Prof. Dr. Jörg F. Schlaak acts as the scientific coordinator of the project and in his function as the head of the hepatological ambulance of the Uniklinik Essen, amongst other things, he is to a great deal responsible for making the clinical specimens available. Above this, all transcriptome- and DNA analysis are carried out in his laboratory. Longstanding experience is available here, which has led to the successful identification and patenting of multiple molecular markers. His steam for example was able to identify and patent the interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) as a prognostically and therapeutically relevant new target within the HCV-infection. (DE 10 2008 029 669.4). He was also able to show that IFN-stimulated genes play a vital role within the endogeneous depression. The diagnostic and therapeutical utilization thereof was also patented. (PCT/EP2008/002765). These activities have led, amongst other things, to a close collaboration and scientific cooperation with different pharmaceutical companies (e.g. Roche, Gilead, Schering-Plough, Novartis, Bayer, Pfizer, Tibotec), which is of special relevance for the evaluation.

Dr. Weber

Projektpartner 2

PD Dr. Frank Weber

Klinik für Allgemeinchirurgie, Viszeral- und Transplantationschirurgie

UK-Essen

The clinical focus of the Klinik für Allgemein-, Viszeral- und Transplantationschirurgie lies in the hepatobiliary surgery including liver transplantations. With nearly 134 liver transplantations in 2008, it belongs to one of the leading transplantation centers in Europe. In addition to this every year nearly 200 patients with carcinoma of the liver (HCC), or of the bile ducts, which traverse along the liver (CCC), receive surgical treatment. The method of cryo-asservating material which has become inoperative, has been established for years now. This assures the supply of clinical samples. The scientific operation and expertise of PD Dr. F. Weber on the field of genomic medicine has led to the identification and patenting (PCT/US2007/015265) of molecular markers. As has been proven for other kinds of tumors, primary liver malignancies also show that the interaction of carcinoma cells with their surrounding connective tissue as well as non-malignancy liver tissue takes a key roley in their oncogenesis. The goal of Project 2 is to identify diagnostically and prognostically relevant, deregulated genes/proteins in the non-malignant liver tissue of patients with primary liver neoplasias (HCC and CCC), and to characterize their signaling pathways. First, to some extent unpublished data from the own working group indicates that deregulating specific genes in the non-malignant liver tissue in fact is decisive for the prognosis of HCC after surgical intervention. Identifying these molecular target genes would establish a new and revolutionary approach in the adjuvant therapy of HCC/CCC. It would be possible for the first time to not only treat the malignancy isolated, but also to modulate the deregulated expression profile of the putatively healthy rest of the liver, which is a potential elicitor for an early relapse, through an appropriate target-oriented therapy.

Dr. Andreas-Claudius Hoffmann

Project partner 3

PD Dr. Andreas-Claudius Hoffmann

Innere Klinik (Tumorforschung), Westdeutsches Tumorzentrum

UK-Essen

The focus of the Innere Klinik (Tumorforschung) is the treatment of solid tumors. The clinic, counting more than 3.400 in-patients and over 25.000 ambulant cases annually, belongs to one of the leading oncological centers in Europe. The lung cancer center and the Westgerman gastro-intestinal center, in which an interdisciplinary approach has been established, constitute the core competences. Through strong networking of clinical and translational research, many advancements have been achieved for target-oriented therapy at the Innere Klinik (Tumorforschung).

The Molecular Oncology Risk-Profile Evaluation (MORE), which is headed by Priv.-Doz. Dr. A. -Cl. Hoffmann is networked nationally as well as internationally, and has been involved in many Multicenter projects. Furthermore, tests for predecting the effect of systematic therapy on gastrointestinal tumors, have already been developed in cooperation with the diagnostic industry and been made marketable.

Webseite: www.more-oncology.com

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Project partner 4

Prof. Dr. Hideo A. Baba

Institut für Pathologie

UK-Essen

Prof. Baba is the associate director of the Institut für Pathologie and appointed professor for Transplantative Pathology. This appointment makes him, among other things, responsible for the pathological diagnostics of the liver diseases. He is a respected hepatopathologist and regularly gives advanced training courses for pathologists at the Internationale Akademie für Pathologie (IAP). 150 listed PubMed publications reveal that he is an internationally established scientist. He has a longstanding scientific expertise on the field of Signal Transduction in tumors. It could be shown that the ERW signal path in the hepatocellular carcinoma is activated and that this activation is associated with a bad clinical outcome. The pathomorphological rational, is to apply kinase inhibitors, which block that signal paht, to the tumor patients. For a short time the medicine Sorafenib, which curbs the ERK signal path, has been approved as the first drug for the human hepatocellular carcinoma.

The MPC, which is headed by Prof. Helmut E. Meyer is one of the world wide leading institutes in the field proteomics and has an excellent infrasctructure with all current state-of-the-art technologies (2D-Gelelektrophorese, DIGE, multidimensionale/nanoHPLC, ESI-ITMS, MALDI-TOF/TOF, ESI/MALDI-QTOF etc.) at its disposal. The MPC's scientific focus lies on the reasearch of biological systems using multidimensional multidimensional separation methods and biological mass spectrometry. Dr. Barbara Sitek has worked in the field of developing techniques for the detection of biomarkers and targets. This work has led to the establishment of a highly sensitive method, which for the first time allows differential studies with a small amount of proteins (Sitek et al. 2005). Combining the microdissection with the saturation labeling of the 2D-Gel-based DIGE-technique makes it possible to establish and compare comprehensive proteomes from just 1000 cells (approx. 2 µg). This procedure has been applied  in cases of cancer disease as well as liver cirrhosis and renal failure more than once. In each study proteins were discovered that could be linked to the diseases, and have have a high potential of being used as boimarkers. In addition, an innovative quantitative technique was developed at the MPC, which allows for a differential quantification of small amounts of proteins (approx. 500 ng). The method is mass spectrometry-based and label-free. Both above mentioned quantitative methods can be seen as complementary techniques. Hence, applying both methods in this project has great potentials for detecting promising biomarkers and targets. A patent concerning specific marker-proteins for the detection of liver cirrhosis already exists. (inventors: Meyer HE, Schmiegel W, Sitek B, Stühler K, Sipos B, Klöppel G, und Mölleken C, Deutsche Patentanmeldung DE 10 2006 037 613.7 (DE 10 2006 048 249.2) Date of filing: 8/10/2006 (10/12/2006), International patent PCT/DE2007/001427 Date of filing: 8/10/2007).

Project Partner 6Stephan

Dr. Christian Stephan

Working Group Bioinformatics

Medizinisches Proteom-Center

Ruhr-Universität-Bochum

 

Dr. Christian Stephan heads the group of Bioinformatics at the Medizinische Proteom-Center, which belongs to the Ruhr-Universität's (Bochum) Zentrum für Klinische Forschung. His department has had years of experience in proteom-analysis as well as applied statistics, but also in array-analysis regarding high-quality identification and quantfication. In addition, an excellenct expertise in the goal-oriented analysis of biologically relevant data has been acquired due to the use of an own High-Performance Cluster (HPC), which exists of hundreds of CPUs, as well as the handling and creation of big databases. Necessary methods for this purpose and software developments are used by six coworkers in the department of Bioinformatics, in order to assure the statistically secured identification of biomarker candidates. Long standing cooperations, for example the ones with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Hinxton and the HUPO Proteomics Standard Initiative (PSI - http://psidev.info) are guarantors for a barrier-free data analysis of the entire community. This is achieved by for example transferring the results, which are made in the field Proteomics and the publishing of the data in open databases such as the PRIDE-database (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/PRIDE), after trade mark rights have been secured.

Project Partner PROFILE BiotechPROFILE BiotechSchlaakMeyer

Prof. Dr. Helmut E. Meyer

Prof. Dr. Jörg F. Schlaak

PROFILE biotech

 

The PROFILE biotech was founded with the goal of leading already existing trade mark rights of the founders into commercial exploitation. The used and arising networks, contacts and strategic partnerships will also be fully available to the PROFILE-consortium, once its trade mark rights have been made available for exploitation. The PROFILE biotech will raise the value of the trade mark rights by means of compound screening by Small Molecule Libraries as well as by developing RNA interference and antibody-based therapeutics. This innovative concept, which is already successfully being used by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Great Britain, and so far is not yet available in Germany, will also be offered to inventors outside of the consortium.

Project partner MedEcon Ruhr GmbH (associated partner)

Dr. rer. nat Silke Mreyen

www.medeconruhr.de

 

MedEcon Ruhr [Medicin Economy Ruhr] is the main address for the healthcare sector of the metropolitan Ruhr-area. Based on a vital pool of information, our range of services focus on the following operative pillars: Network, project development, and location marketing.

Having begun in 2003 as a regional joint initiative, MedEcon Ruhr has become a registered association in 2007, to which meanwhile more than 90 companies and facilities from different areas of the health sector belong. The proximity to the actors combined with our analytical view of value chains and medical-technial innovations indicate our contact- and advisory quality.

The Metroppolitan Ruhr-area is Germany's largest market place. This is especially true for the employer no. 1, the health sector. MedEcon Ruhr sees itself as a driving force in the regional profile building, and with the structural change of the Ruhr-area in mind, as an ambassador of the new Ruhr-area.