Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics (IAPG) of the Czech Academy of Sciences, succeeded with the project ExAM (Experimental Animal Models) in the competition for funds provided from the second priority axis of European Structural Funds (Regional Research Centers) of the Operational Programme Research and Development for Innovation. PIGMOD Centre (Pig Models of Diseases) will arise thanks to the strong support of this project in Libechov. The main goals of PIGMOD Centre are aimed primarily at the application sphere.
New, modern equipped laboratories are built together with professional operating theater and its hinterland. These spaces provide an opportunity to contribute to the clarification of the nature of diseases of the nervous system and cancer and also to education of young researchers. The research focused on study of Huntington's disease, spinal cord injury and human melanoma, should lead to the identification of new biomarkers and validation of therapeutic procedures in these diseases.
The preparatory work of the project began on April, 1st 2012. The total cost of the project is 174.5 million CZK. The vast majority (85%) of the budget is financed from European Union funds. Of this amount, 85 million is used for building of the new laboratories and operational units for breeding of experimental animals. 40 million is used for the equipment of the new buildings. The scientific program was started in January 2013. 31 researchers participate on this research work.
The scientific program includes the generation of two biomedical models - model of Huntington's disease and model of traumatic spinal cord injury in miniature pigs. Both models are scientifically developed and prepared for the future testing of the new drugs and methods of cell therapy and molecular biology.
Another area of the research is the study of the unique animal model - MeLiM pigs (Me lanoma -bearing Libechov M inipig) with hereditary melanoma. Experimental efforts in this studyl focus on diversifying the base line to the two sublines, with progressive and spontaneously regrading melanoma and to generation of cell lines suitable for the study of melanoma in vivo and in vitro.
Experimental program of the Centre PIGMOD has significant application potential in the treatment of spinal cord injury using cell therapy or in the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma, as well as patients who have been diagnosed with Huntington's disease.
In addition to fundamental research, cooperation of PIGMOD Center´s Laboratories and the private sector will represent a substantial part of the volume of scientific activities. The Center must cover one-third of its costs, mostly in cooperation with companies, for further sustainability. Currently, the Laboratories of the PIGMOD Centre actively participate in a number of projects financed by the private companies or foundations, e.g. CHDI Foundation, Inc., Neuralstem, Inc. or Synovo GmbH.
Information about Project ExAM here