BioMed X Institute and Boehringer Ingelheim Successfully Complete Schizophrenia Research Project

The research of BioMed X team EPD – Early Intervention in Psychiatric Diseases – has shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying white matter deficits in schizophrenia.

HEIDELBERG, GERMANY / ACCESSWIRE / May 28, 2024 / German independent research institute BioMed X announces the successful completion of its second neuroscience project in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim in the field of psychiatric disorders. The data resulting from this project have been acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim, where this research will be continued, potentially paving the way for novel therapies.

This research project was launched in 2020 at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg and led by Dr. Ebru Ercan Herbst, now a professor at Reutlingen University, Germany. Her team has created both in vivo and in vitro platforms to study myelination of neurons and the development of oligodendrocytes – a subtype of glial cells – in the context of schizophrenia. Their novel in vitro platform for studying myelination was published last year in Cell Press – STAR Protocols (PMID: 36933222). Dr. Ercan Herbst’s team has also identified a relevant mouse model exhibiting the hypomyelination pathology associated with schizophrenia to be used for future research. In addition to the cell and mouse models, the BioMed X neuroscientists have analyzed the RNA expression of different human brain regions in post-mortem samples from schizophrenia patients and controls. Their soon-to-be-published findings reveal that there are differentially expressed genes and pathways in schizophrenia brains, particularly in oligodendrocytes, when compared to control brains, which could have significant implications for designing new therapies, not only for schizophrenia but also for other neurological disorders like major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, which share a common hypomyelination pathology.

Dr. Christian Tidona, Managing Director & Founder of the BioMed X Institute: “This is already our second successfully completed project with Boehringer Ingelheim in the field of psychiatry. We are looking forward to continuing our successful collaboration with our ongoing research projects in brain sensor development in Heidelberg and in the field of wound healing and fibrosis at our new joint XSeed Labs on the U.S. campus of Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield, CT.”

“Together with partners from across the global neuroscience community, we are constantly exploring new scientific avenues to address the huge unmet need of those living with mental health conditions,” Hugh Marston, Global Head CNS Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim, stated. “The partnership with BioMed X and the fruitful collaboration with Dr. Ercan Herbst’s team has yielded exciting insights that will help us initiate projects to further progress our precision psychiatry approach to transform patients’ lives.”

About BioMed X

BioMed X is an independent research institute with sites in Heidelberg, Germany, New Haven, Connecticut, XSeed Labs in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and a worldwide network of partner locations. Together with our partners, we identify big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.

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SOURCE: BioMed X Institute

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