CAMBRIDGE, MA – The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Anelixis Therapeutics, announced today that it has formed a research partnership with Neurimmune to advance potential treatments for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The research partnership will explore a human monoclonal antibody that targets misfolded superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Misfolded SOD1 accumulates in familial and sporadic ALS, suggesting a generalized role as a drug target for ALS treatments.
“We are excited by the results of Neurimmune’s findings,” says Steve Perrin, Ph.D., CEO & CSO of ALS TDI. “Recent evidence would suggest that therapies targeting misfolded SOD1 could be important in both sporadic and familial forms of ALS. It is crucial that we use every tool available to us to advance potential treatments toward the clinic, and we are proud to work together with Neurimmune to attempt to do just that.”
The collaboration will explore the high-affinity human antibodies developed by Neurimmune that selectively target misfolded SOD1. In preclinical studies with transgenic mice, chronic antibody treatment significantly reduced SOD1 pathology and rescued spinal cord motor neurons, resulting in significantly reduced muscle atrophy, better motor functions and increased survival. Neurimmune will present the key findings of their approach at the International Symposium on ALS/MND Research in Milan, Italy on December 7, 2013.
“ALS is a devastating neuromuscular disease, and there is an urgent need for new and effective therapies that can slow or stop its progression,” says Jan Grimm, Ph.D., CSO of Neurimmune. “Our human antibodies are directed against pathologically misfolded SOD1 and the selected lead candidate shows marked efficacy in independent ALS animal models. We believe that there is significant potential for this therapeutic approach for ALS and are enthusiastic to jointly advancing the program towards clinical development together with ALS TDI.”
About ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI)
The mission of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is to discover and develop effective treatments to end ALS as soon as possible. ALS TDI is the world’s largest independent ALS/MND drug development-focused nonprofit organization. It currently has partnerships with dozens of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide in order to advance potential treatments into the clinic. Its lead ALS therapeutic candidate, Novartis’ (Switzerland) Gilenya (TDI-132), is in Phase 2A clinical trial for ALS, and the Institute has a research agreement on a second candidate with Biogen Idec (USA) and UCB SA (Belgium) for future clinical development. For more information, visitwww.als.net.
About Anelixis Therapeutics
Anelixis Therapeutics, LLC is a mission-aligned translational medicine and drug development company created by the ALS Therapy Development Institute in 2013. It uses innovative business models as a virtual biotech to advance potential ALS treatments, licensed from the Institute and other like-minded organizations, through early stage clinical development, adding value to the most promising lead candidates and preparing them for later stage development together with larger biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. For more information, visit www.AnelixisTherapeutics.com or contact 617-599-6514.
Neurimmune is a Swiss biotech company focusing on the development of a novel class of human antibody therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of severe diseases. Based upon its unique Reverse Translational Medicine™ technology platform, Neurimmune has created a strong and sustainable pipeline of human antibody programs targeting CNS indications. Neurimmune’s business strategy focuses on the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies at early stages of the pharmaceutical value chain and partnering product candidates for later-stage development and marketing. Neurimmune’s lead program for Alzheimer’s disease is partnered with Biogen Idec and currently in Phase 1b clinical testing. For additional information, please visit www.neurimmune.com.
ALS TDI, 617-441-7200, firstname.lastname@example.org
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