EPIXCHANGE - Innovative gene therapies for epilepsy treatment


"A significant part of the costs of neurological diseases on society is associated with epilepsy. About 30-40% of the patients are refractory to pharmacological treatments, which are mostly symptomatic and often have side effects. In few cases surgical intervention is considered and no treatments interfering with or preventing the development of epilepsy are currently available. In this context, EPIXCHANGE aims at exploring, providing the basis for clinical application and implementing in the industrial arena new and unconventional strategies for the therapy of partial epilepsy advancing the state-of-the-art in the field. To achieve this, a strategic partnership will be created, including two internationally recognized academic institutions (UniFE, ULund) and one SME (NsGene) developing encapsulated cell biodelivery (ECB) based therapeutic products. ECBs will be transferred to the academic partners, while knowledge and technology on animal models, viral vectors and BDNF-producing cells will be transferred to the SME.
This partnership will implement a joint research programme, which will enable to exploit the complementary competencies and technologies available at each participant site and will increase the knowledge-sharing and technology transfer, as well as the mutual understanding and penetration of the different cultural settings and skills required for both academic and industrial sectors, thus improving partners’ RTD capability and competitiveness.
This will be combined with transfer of knowledge on complementary skills. Experienced researchers will be also recruited to bring top level experience in techniques that are not present in the consortium. Annual workshops will be organized to benefit the transfer of knowledge programme and the dissemination of results both within the consortium and towards the scientific community."

Project details

 Project coordinator: Michele Simonato

 Funding source: 7th Framework Programme 

Start date 01/12/2011 - end date 30/11/2015
Total cost: 1.426.776 €
EU contribution:1.426.776 €
EU contribution to UniFe: 453.985 €


  • Università degli Studi di Ferrara, Coordinator (Italy)
  • Lunds Universitet (Sweden),
  • NsGene A/S (Denmark),
  • BIOVIRON SARL (France)