Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH MEDIA

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



Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The photo shows a mouse pancreatic islet as seen by light microscopy. Beta cells can be recognized by the green insulin staining. Glucagon is labeled in red and the nuclei in blue (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Regenerative Potential Is a Trait of Mature Tissues, Not an Innate Feature of Newly Born Cells

Diabetes researchers have found that the ability of insulin-producing beta cells to replicate and respond to elevated glucose concentrations is absent in very young animals and does not appear until after weaning.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Wafers like the one shown here are used to create “organ-on-a-chip” devices to model human tissue (Photo courtesy of Dr. Anurag Mathur, University of California, Berkeley).

Human Heart-on-a-Chip Cultures May Replace Animal Models for Drug Development and Safety Screening

Human heart cells growing in an easily monitored silicon chip culture system may one day replace animal-based model systems for drug development and safety screening. Drug discovery and development... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image:  Model depiction of a novel cellular mechanism by which regulation of cryptochromes Cry1 and Cry2 enables coordination of a protective transcriptional response to DNA damage caused by genotoxic stress (Photo courtesy of the journal eLife, March 2015, Papp SJ, Huber AL, et al.).

Two Proteins Critical for Circadian Cycles Protect Cells from Mutations

Scientists have discovered that two proteins critical for maintaining healthy day-night cycles also have an unexpected role in DNA repair and protecting cells against genetic mutations that could lead... Read more

Business

view channel

Roche Acquires Signature Diagnostics to Advance Translational Research

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) will advance translational research for next generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostics by leveraging the unique expertise of Signature Diagnostics AG (Potsdam, Germany) in biobanks and development of novel NGS diagnostic assays. Signature Diagnostics is a privately held translational oncology... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.