Providing quantitative biological measures to facilitate the discovery and development of new treatments for social and cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression


The overall objective of this project is to develop a quantitative biological approach to the understanding and classification of neuropsychiatric diseases to accelerate the discovery and development of better treatments for patients. The concept of our proposal is to define a set of quantifiable biological parameters for social withdrawal and cognitive deficits to cluster and differentiate schizophrenia (SZ), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and to a lesser degree, patients with major depressive disorder (MD). In phase I of the project (years 1-3), the following specific objectives will be addressed: 1. Proof-of-concept (PoC) analyses to cluster and differentiate SZ and AD patients on the basis of quantitative biological parameters. 2. Explore dimensional relationships between pathology (e.g., cognitive deficits) and social withdrawal. 3. Develop deeper understanding of the quantitative biology of social withdrawal using clinical data from SZ, AD and MD patients and by establishing a network of pre-clinical research sites able to perform high quality back-translation studies. 4. Develop the regulatory path for social withdrawal across disorders.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Alessandro Serretti

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie

Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht (Umcu)(Netherlands)

Other Participants:
Pfizer Limited (United Kingdom)
Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (Netherlands)
Drug Target ID BV (Netherlands)
Stichting Buro ECNP-European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (Netherlands)
Takeda Development Centre Europe Ltd (United Kingdom)
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ag (Switzerland)
Eli Lilly & Company Limited (United Kingdom)
SBGNeuro Limited (United Kingdom)
Janssen Pharmaceutica Nv (Belgium)
Stichting Vu (Netherlands)
Centro De Investigacion Biomedica En Red Bioingenieria, Biomateriales Y Nanomedicina-Ciber-Bbn (Spain)
Novartis Pharma Ag (Switzerland)
P1vital Limited (United Kingdom)
University of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Concentris Research Management GmbH (Germany)
Boehringer Ingelheim Internationalgmbh (Germany)
Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden (Netherlands)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Eufami-Europese Federatie Van Familieverenigingen Van Psychiatrisch Zieke Personen Ivzw-European Federation Of Associations Of Families Of People With Mental Illness (Belgium)
Biotrial SAS (France)
Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Third parties:
Takeda Cambridge Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 8.080.000,00
Project Duration in months: 36
Start Date: 01/04/2016
End Date: 31/03/2019

Cordis webpage

Good health and well-being This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 115916