The Center for Experimental Medicine Neuropharmacology (NeuroPharm) is a research center under Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark (grant number 4108-00004B) and inaugurated on Jan 1, 2015.
Neurobiology Research Unit (NRU) at Rigshospitalet is the coordinating partner in the Center and the national partners include the pharmaceutical company H. Lundbeck A/S and four academic partners: one from the University of Copenhagen and three from university hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark. International partners include Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard and the British-based small-medium sized enterprise, Imanova Ltd. Additionally, Imperial College London and the two large pharmaceutical drug companies Pfizer Inc. in USA and Takeda in Japan are involved in NeuroPharm as affiliated partners.
Brain disorders constitute the largest socioeconomic burden in Western societies and accordingly, identification of brain disease mechanisms and prediction of treatment outcome is of paramount socio-economic importance. Experimental and translational medicine models are required to identify basic disease mechanisms and to facilitate novel intervention strategies and to prevent or cure brain disorders. This is essential to bridge the gap between animal and human studies and to help mitigate and manage the risk of novel treatments, be it pharmacological or non-pharmacological strategies.
The short-term goal of NeuroPharm is to answer pertinent and basic questions regarding human brain disease mechanisms and predict brain responses to categories of neuromodulatory interventions as well as treatment efficacy. We use PET and MR brain scanning to image brain receptors, receptor occupancy, and the brains regional interactions, i.e., functional connectivity. The ability to simultaneously measure drug occupancy and brain reactivity directly in humans provides a completely novel approach to assess interventional effects. We employ these brain imaging tools in patients with, e.g., depression and migraine. Also, we make use of existing data and biological samples in the context of a multivariate data analysis framework in order to generate predictive statistical models that will allow for a more informed use of data acquired within the Center and will provide a foundation for better study designs.