OBIND: Oncological therapies through Biological Interaction Network Discovery

The goal of the OBIND project is to develop a computerised system in the oncology field which allows for aggregation and analysis of different data sets, focused on studying the interaction between different biological molecules that are found to have changed in tumour diseases and in order to create a rational outline for planning new treatments.


The study of complex diseases, such as tumours, requires an integrated data analysis approach. In addition to analysing the genes involved in the transformation process of normal cells into tumour cells (over 500 have been identified), the study of the onset of a tumour also requires analysis of the interactions between proteins, RNA and small molecules.

Pharmaceutical planning of new specialised and personalised anti-tumour treatments is a highly complex process; in fact, the development of new chemical entities (NCEs), takes on average 13 years with costs approaching one billion euros. Studying the behaviour of the entire network of molecular interactions means the effects of a treatment can be predicted on a broader scale than a single interaction. This analysis first requires consultation of specialised databases available on the internet or from research bodies.

The problems related to analysing the data required to study tumours and developing new drugs are several: the large quantity of biomedical data is difficult to consult and process; its fragmentary nature prevents an overall view of the problems associated with the disease; and the many different formats or lack of structure result in poor interoperability.

The research and development plan sets out to optimise:

  • data selection for the study of the tumour diseases concerned, using a semantic search engine connected to the main databases of proteomics, transcriptomics, interatomics, chemogenomics, structural biology and medical chemistry;
  • integrated analysis of different types of data, in order to identify biological interactions between small molecules, RNA and proteins, which affect, or may affect, the onset, development and/or the regression of a tumour;
  • use of new statistical and computational approaches involved in data processing and integrated analysis models for a number of data sources;
  • extrapolation of patented structural information (scaffold) to be included in the planning workflow of new treatments.

PO FESR Sicilia 2014/2020 – Action 1.1.5 - PROJECT N. 086202000366


  • Exprivia S.p.A. – main
  • University of Palermo
  • Fondazione Ri.MED
  • Securproject
  • OS2
  • 2038 Innovation Company