Unveiling Novel Molecular Mechanisms Underpinning Chronic Pruritus and Developing Innovative Antipruritics

Grantee: Jianghui Meng, Assistant Professor, Dublin City University

Amount: DKK 2,200,000

Grant category: Research Grants in open competition

Year: 2022

Geography: Ireland

Chronic itch (pruritus) is a major symptom of numerous dermatological and systemic diseases, which substantially impairs patients’ quality of life, resulting in considerable socioeconomic costs. Current treatment options have insufficient efficacy or side effects, and do not treat the underlying cause of itch. Thus, there is a significant unmet medical need for a better efficacy, longer lasting and safer therapy.

Specifically, Jianghui and her team will focus on understanding the role of b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) signaling, which is known to be pivotal in the development and transmission of itch, yet no effective therapeutics targeting this molecule have so far been developed. To address this knowledge gap, the team will investigate the pathways in detail, validate the involved molecules as potential targets for anti-itch drugs and develop therapeutic candidates that can interrupt several key molecular events of BNP signaling, including release of BNP and its pruritogenic effect.