The 20th congress of the Society for the study of blood-brain interfaces (SEISC) took place in Tours last week, on the topic “The Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) in all its forms” ( During two days, breakthroughs concerning several aspects of blood-brain interfaces were exposed through 11 presentations, dealing with the importance of the BBB in neurodegenerative diseases and in brain cancer, as well as the problematic of drug transport across the BBB.

The links between the BBB and neurodegenerative diseases were addressed in several presentations, for example the effect of ketones on the BBB, the cellular cholesterol homeostasis and β-amyloid peptide efflux at the level of the BBB in the frame of Alzheimer’s disease. BBB issues in cancerology were addressed in the context of high-grade glioma, with the modelization of the blood-tumor barrier using a human synergic approach. Moreover, modern methods for drug delivery across the BBB were presented. Some laboratories also presented posters to show their results, in particular dealing with the prediction of the brain penetration of compounds using human models.
HCS Pharma participated in this congress in the context of the future development of a new combined in vitro BBB model in our laboratory.

Thanks to the organizers and all participants for the interesting discussions we had there!

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As shown by AstraZeneca in nature reviews, one third of the safety failures is linked to CNS toxicity during the clinical trials of drugs . To avoid this attrition, the potential neurotoxicity  of any drug going through the blood brain barrier (BBB) needs to be checked and if possible at the early stage of  the research process for new chemical entites (NCE). This assay can be performed by cell imaging in HCA/HCS.

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