Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Research Partnership Seeks Compounds to Slow Loss of Motor Neurons in ALS

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 01 Oct 2013
A renowned American research institute is collaborating with a German drug discovery company to identify compounds that can prevent or slow down the loss of motor neurons, which is characteristic of the human disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS is a debilitating disease that induces muscle weakness and atrophy throughout the body caused by the degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons. The majority of ALS victims die within three to five years from the onset of the symptoms, and only about 10% survive for 10 years or more. The incidence of the syndrome is approximately two per 100,000 people, and there are about 150,000 diagnosed ALS patients worldwide.

Investigators at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (Boston, MA, USA) will be working with colleagues at Evotec AG (Hamburg, Germany) in a strategic partnership dedicated to the identification of compounds able to prevent or slow down the loss of motor neurons in ALS. The collaboration, which is being called “CureMN” (CureMotorNeuron), will leverage human motor neuron assays based on ALS patient-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that were developed by Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers Dr. Lee Rubin and Dr. Kevin Eggan.

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Evotec has established an enviable position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuroscience, pain, metabolic diseases as well as oncology and inflammation.

Dr. Cord Dohrmann, CSO of Evotec, said, “Kevin and Lee have made significant contributions to our understanding of the underlying pathology of motor neuron diseases. Their laboratories have developed a large array of ALS patient-derived motor neuron models that allow screening of diseased human cells in culture – an approach that is sometimes referred to as a “clinical trial in a dish.” Our intention is to systematically screen for new mechanisms, targets, and compounds that have the potential to be developed into new products that will modify and ideally halt the progression of ALS and potentially other motor neuron diseases.”

Related Links:
Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Evotec AG



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: A leukemia cell coated with antibody is marked for destruction by activated natural killer cells (Photo courtesy of the University of Southern California).

Leukemia Cells Are Killed in Culture by Immune Cells Grown from the Same Patient

Immune system natural killer (NK) cells were isolated from leukemia patients, expanded in culture, and then shown in an in vitro system to attack and destroy cancer cells from the original cell donors.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Synthetic ion transporters can induce apoptosis by facilitating chloride anion transport into cells (Photo courtesy of the University of Texas, Austin).

Experimental Drug Kills Cancer Cells by Interfering with Their Ion Transport Mechanism

An experimental anticancer drug induces cells to enter a molecular pathway leading to apoptosis by skewing their ion transport systems to greatly favor the influx of chloride anions. To promote development... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

White-Matter Deficits Found in Codeine-Containing Cough Syrup Users

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of chronic users of codeine-containing cough syrups (CCS) has found deficits in specific regions of brain white matter and linked these changes with increased impulsivity in codeine-containing cough syrup users. These findings were consistent with findings from earlier research of... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.