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Fibrosis is the excessive formation of connective tissue in an organ or tissue; it is known from scars, but it can also occur in the liver as a result of obesity. An unhealthy lifestyle causes liver fibrosis to increase to such an extent that the disease almost begins to take on epidemic proportions, and no medicine is yet available. TNO has built up unique knowledge over the past decade that it wants to co-develop further with market parties into an effective medicine.
This is currently being done by the newly founded CollaneX Therapeutics, a spin-off company of TNO. This biotech company will develop medicines against fibrosis, initially during the first phase of development independently, later in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.
Efforts to develop anti-fibrosis medicines are happening worldwide. Fibrosis can occur in many organs, such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys, and the number of patients with liver fibrosis is rising sharply. In the US alone 130 million people are affected by obesity, which in many cases leads to liver disorders and consequently an increase in the number of liver transplants as a result of fibrosis.
As a TNO spin-off, CollaneX has unique knowledge of both the disease and the pharmaceutical market. The scientists forming the company have developed numerous models that provide insight into the mechanisms of the disease as well as identified a unique target that helps to develop a medicine with potentially few side effects. The unique combination of knowledge of mechanisms, models and the market has convinced CollaneX that it can make a breakthrough in the fight against fibrosis.