Mission Therapeutics, a drug discovery and development company focused on selectively inhibiting deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), and AbbVie, a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company, announced the identification of several DUBs as potential drug targets in their Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s R&D collaboration.
AbbVie has nominated the panel of DUBs that will be progressed for further characterization and screening activities. This is the first major milestone of the Companies’ DUB research and preclinical development collaboration in neurodegenerative diseases.
Under the terms of the collaboration, announced in November 2018, Mission and AbbVie are working together to identify specific DUBs and discover suitable inhibitor compounds for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. AbbVie then has the option to gain exclusive rights to develop and commercialize DUB inhibitors against up to four selected targets. Mission is eligible to receive success-based milestone payments and royalty payments for each commercialized product.
Over 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and 10 million more with Parkinson’s. The diseases are associated with the accumulation of misfolded proteins, which are believed to cause impaired function and death of nerve cells in the brain. DUBs help to maintain healthy nerve cells by regulating the degradation of the toxic proteins. By modulating specific DUBs within the brain, AbbVie and Mission aim to develop drug candidates that enhance degradation of toxic proteins to treat these neurodegenerative disorders.
Commenting on the development, Dr. Anker Lundemose, Mission’s CEO said:
“Partnering with AbbVie has been a great experience and instrumental for our research. AbbVie brings expertise and capabilities complementary to our own, and it is a testament to all involved that we have reached this important milestone. We have made good progress to-date and our high-quality data has enabled AbbVie to take the decision to select multiple DUBs for further investigation. We look forward to continuing to work together to discover and develop DUB inhibitors towards the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”
Dr. Eric Karran, Vice President, Discovery Neuroscience Research, AbbVie commented:
“The numbers of people living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is growing and there are currently no treatments capable of stopping or reversing either disease’s progression. This collaboration, using Mission’s DUB technology platform, shows promise for identifying potential drug targets and the development of new therapeutic options. We look forward to advancing our drug discovery programs with our Mission colleagues.”