NGN-PET is an private-public research consortium, jointly funded by a group of pharmaceutical companies and the European Union. Our aim is to model pain in a dish.
Countless individuals suffer from regular chronic pain – be it joint-ache, back-ache, headache, or even whole body pain. Currently, there are very few effective treatments available.
We know that chronic pain is caused by an hypersensitive nervous system and that glial cells – which support neurons in their function – can also play a crucial role. But how can we stop this hypersensitivity? Generating drugs for this purpose has been slow and difficult. One reason for that is that we are lacking effective ways to study how neurons and glial cells interact outside of the human body.
Our aim as a consortium is to change this. We want to set up a cell-culture model using neurons and glial cells derived from human stem cells. This model will then be adapted to the high-throughput technologies pharmaceutical companies require to screen thousands of compounds. We hope that our work will bring us one step closer towards finding new drugs to help our patients.