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Spondylitis Evaluation Platform via non invasive Imaging Applications tools. (Τ2ΕΔΚ-03807)

The term spondyloarthritis refers to a family of inflammatory diseases that affect mainly the joints as well as the sites where ligaments and tendons attach to bones called “entheses.” The most common feature of spondyloarthritis is ankylosing spondylitis. This pathology is characterized by signs of peripheral arthritis, including features of inflammation, bone destruction and cartilage erosion, but also by signs of axial pathology that affect the spine and sacroiliac joints with signs of inflammation as well as ectopic new bone formation that eventually lead to spine ankylosis and ensuing motor problems.

To date, there is unfortunately only limited information as to the nature of the pathogenic mechanisms responsible for the formation of the ectopic new bone that is characteristic of ankylosing spondylitis and consequently there are no effective treatments. This lack of information is also due to the lack of relevant and reliable animal disease models that would allow, with the use of cutting edge technologies, the proper study of the pathogenic mechanisms and would also offer a tool for the preclinical evaluation of new therapeutic treatments.

Biomedcode is currently studying and characterizing a spondyloarthritis preclinical model based on the TgA86 transgenic mouse. This is a mouse that overexpresses exclusively the transmembrane form of TNF and develops spontaneously a pathology that manifests as peripheral arthritis as well as axial pathology with signs of enthesitis, vertebrae deformations and tail ankyloses, all signs reminiscent of spondyloarthritis pathology.

BIOEMTECH has the expertise and technology to perform high end imaging analysis in experimental disease models combining methods of single photon emission computed tomography (2D and 3D SPECT) Positron-emission tomography (2D PET), X-ray and 3D Computed tomography (CT), while optical imaging (OI) is also currently under development.

The ultimate goal of this proposal is the development of an optimized preclinical spondyloarthritis platform with integrated high end technological platforms offering capabilities for the continuous monitoring of disease progression as well as its response to treatment.