PRESTO - P2X receptors as a therapeutic opportunity

P2X receptors (P2XRs) are ATP-gated ion channels involved in intercellular communication with an established role in neurodegeneration, infection, inflammation, cancer growth, and progression. In vitro and in vivo evidence, generated mainly by leading Europe-based laboratories, shows that P2XRs might be an ideal pharmacological target in these diseases and many others. Over the years, highly selective agonists and antagonists have been synthesized, and therapeutic antibodies targeting the P2XRs have been raised.
However, the transfer of this wealth of knowledge from research laboratories to the patients' bed has been slow, and clinical trials so far carried out have been unsatisfactory. This was due to a noticeable lack of coordinated effort by basic research, clinical and industry-based investigators. The PRESTO Action aims at accelerating the transition of P2XRs knowledge to clinical applications. PRESTO will be accomplishing these goals by

1) promoting a coordinated effort by leading basic and clinical science experts and Industrybased investigators aimed at the selection of the most appropriate pathologies amenable to P2XR-targeted therapy;

2) identifying the best-suited P2XR-directed drugs to take through the clinical pipeline;

3) establishing validated experimental protocols and tools;

4) setting criteria for the validation of P2XRs as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers;

5) promoting dedicated clinical trials;

6) training a new, multicultural, transdisciplinary, generation of young researchers skilled in the P2XR field;

7) disseminating in the scientific community, biomedical students, charities, local and national health authorities and the general public, the awareness of the importance of P2XR-based research


Project details

Scientific responsability: Elena Adinolfi

 Funding source: COST

Start date: 12/10/2022 - end date: 11/10/2026
Eu contribution to UniFe: t.b.d.


  • Università di Ferrara, Italia
  • Università di Pisa, Italia
  • Istituto Romagnolo per lo Studio dei Tumori "Dino Amadori" IRST-IRCCS, Italia
  • Università di Camerino, Italia
  • HelixPhrama srl, Italia
  • Axxam - Axxam SpA, Italia
  • Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Polonia
  • Università di Copenhagen, Danimarca
  • Region Hovedstaden - Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Danimarca
  • University of Turku, Finlandia
  • University of Tours, Francia
  • Université de Rouen Normandie, Francia
  • CNRS, Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging, Marseille, Francia
  • CNRS - CNRS [Institut de Genomique Fonctionnelle Department of Neuroscience] Montpellier, Francia.
  • University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germania
  • University of Bonn, Germania
  • Preclinics GmbH - preclinics Gmbh, Germania
  • Achucarro Basque Center for Neurosciences, Spagna
  • University of the Basque Country, Spagna
  • Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia (IMIB-Arrixaca), Spagna
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spagna
  • Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Svizzera,
  • University of Sussex, Regno Unito
  • University of  Portsmouth, Regno Unito
  • University of Leeds, Regno Unito
  • University of Sheffield, Regno Unito
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Ungheria
  • Università di Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Tallin University of Technology,Estonia
  • Royal College of Surgeons, Irlanda
  • Universidade de Lisboa, Portogallo
  • Universidade de Coimbra, Portogallo
  • Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR) Prague, Repubblica ceca
  • Alexandru Obregia Clinical Psychiatric Hospital, Bucarest, Romania
  • San Nicolau Istitute of Virology, Bucarest, Romania
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Institute of Biophysics Carlos Chagas Filho, Brasile
  • University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Slovak Medical University, Slovacchia
  • National Institute of Chemistry, Lubiana, Slovenia
  • Ankara University School of Medicine, Turchia
  • Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tunisi, Tunisia
  • University of Patras, Grecia
  • Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, Slovacchia