The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), ChemDiv and Torrey Pines Investment launched a pre-commercial translational R&D program that will identify small molecule leads modulating NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and activation, under their 2016 collaboration agreement focused on pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, with the goal of delivering a pipeline of novel high quality development and drug candidates.
Abnormal NLRP3 function is implicated in multiple autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases; and appears to be especially important in the pathophysiology of neuronal aging and its associated neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, other forms of dementia, and multiple sclerosis. Modulators of inflammasome activation and assembly may be valuable tools for controlling early neuropathology, potentially preventing or ameliorating these devastating diseases.
The overall goal of the collaboration is to leverage DZNE’s advanced research capabilities with ChemDiv’s commercial expertise to efficiently design and validate new therapeutic candidates for treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The partners have identified four areas of biology having high promise for meaningful new therapeutic drugs. In addition to inflammasomes, these areas include innate immune signaling, mitochondrial physiology, and intracellular trafficking.
In the inflammasome program, the Partners will work on identifying modulators (leads) of assembly/activation of NLRP3 and on optimizing molecules through MedChem and early in-vitro/in-vivo profiling to deliver multiple development candidates. It is expected that the set of candidates will represent multiple NCEs interacting with different components of the inflammasome. The pre-commercial stage of the program is jointly funded by DZNE and Torrey Pines Investment.
The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) investigates the causes of diseases of the nervous system and develops strategies for prevention, treatment and care. It is an institution within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres with nine sites across Germany (Berlin, Bonn, Dresden, Göttingen, Magdeburg, Munich, Rostock/Greifswald, Tübingen and Witten).
ChemDiv, Inc. (San Diego, USA) is a target-to-market Research Organization. Over the past 25 years the ChemDiv team has delivered hundreds of leads, drug candidates and drug approvals in CNS, oncology, virology, inflammation, cardio and metabolic diseases to its pharma and biotech customers.
Torrey Pines Investment (San Diego, USA) is a specialty life-science investment firm. Torrey Pines invests in development stage molecules, diagnostics, and therapeutics in areas of high unmet medical need.