The DIHETOX project, winner of the POR FESR Lazio 2014-2020 announcement

The DIHETOX project, presented by Genechron in collaboration with the CLSN Center of the Italian Institute of Technology in Rome, is among the winning projects of the POR FESR Lazio Announcement 2014 - 2020 Public Notice "LIFE 2020" Integrated Projects of the Lazio Region.

The DIHETOX project arises from the need to identify and validate RNA biomarkers (miRNA or mRNA) able to early detect the presence of drug-induced liver damage (DILI, Drug-Induced Liver Injury) or to detect in a precise way possible interactions between pharmacological treatments.

The analysis of potential toxic effects of new drugs is necessary in the initial stages of drug development: biomarkers allow to detect the effects accurately, both in the liver and in the other organs (heart, kidneys).

The DIHETOX project will act on two fronts that have interconnected objectives:

  • the first will concern the development and validation of an assay for the early evaluation of non-specific hepatotoxicity or linked to specific drugs / compounds.
  • the second will concern the development and optimization of an assay that can be applied for the evaluation of the interaction between drugs and will determine whether the simultaneous intake of multiple drugs reduces the pharmacological effects or decreases (or increases) the toxicity of such drugs. 

Therefore, the tests will not only allow identification of any hepatotoxic or cytotoxic effects of the drugs / compounds analyzed, but will give information on the effects of the interaction of several drugs in the case of poly-pharmacotherapy.

The project will be completed within half of 2019 and will allow the realization of these tests, which will, after a further phase of testing and screening on a patient population, put on the market of Diagnostic Medical and Pre-Clinical Trials of new drugs.

Overall, for the DIHETOX project an investment amounting to € 903,128.61 was admitted, for which grants amounting to € 658,282.82 were granted for the POR FESR Lazio 2014 - 2020.