Medicines for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's

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New drug on the market soon as a drug against neurodegenerative diseases?

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or dementia, Parkinson's or Creutzfeldt-Jakob are characterized by a slow loss of mental and physical abilities. The treatment options for such diseases have so far been extremely limited. However, scientists at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (LMU) and the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen have discovered a promising active ingredient that is the deposition of disease-relevant protein accumulations in the brain, which are important in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases Role, should reduce.

With the newly developed active ingredient, "diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob could possibly be slowed down or even stopped in the future, because disease-related processes are inhibited directly," reports MODAG GmbH, which, as a joint spin-off of the LMU and MPI, brings the active ingredient to market maturity to develop further. MODAG, with the participation of Bayerische Patentallianz GmbH, closed the first round of financing with the Ludwig Maximilians University and the Max Planck Society for eight million euros. The introduction of a corresponding drug for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease seems to be within reach.

Harmful protein deposits are avoided. Deposits of protein accumulations, which lead to damage to the nerve cells, form the basis of many neurodegenerative diseases. For example, “Parkinson's deposits of clumped synuclein proteins are visible in the brain under the microscope,” reports MODAG. The precursors of these deposits, made up of several identical units, so-called oligomers, have a strong neurotoxic effect, which triggers the typical symptoms such as muscle twitching, muscle tremors, movement disorders and muscle stiffness in those affected. "Also in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease there are disease-causing protein deposits, which are caused by the so-called prion protein," the MODAG message continues. The research team led by Professor Dr. Armin Giese, from the Center for Neuropathology and Prion Research at LMU and Professor Dr. According to Christian Griesinger from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, “he developed a drug candidate that, in tests on Parkinson's mice, prevents the formation of toxic oligomeric protein forms and thus delays the progress of nerve cell damage to an unprecedented extent and delays the disease-free phase extended."

New drug inhibits disease-related processes The newly developed drug with the name "anle138b" applies "directly and specifically to oligomeric protein forms" and thus prevents early aggregation and the emergence of new oligomeric disease-related protein forms, the scientists report. In addition, the "synthesized active ingredient, which was administered to the test mice with food, was very well tolerated in therapeutic doses". It passes the blood-brain barrier very efficiently and therefore reaches a high active level in the brain with a lower dose. ". The mice treated with anle138b achieved a significantly longer lifespan and were able to coordinate their movements significantly better than their untreated sick counterparts, ”the researchers write. The disease-related processes were immediately inhibited. "But the new substance was not only effective in Parkinson's disease", according to the scientists, positive research results are also available for Alzheimer and Creutzfeldt-Jakob. At Creutzfeldt-Jakob, “anle138b” also effectively prevented the accumulation of disease-causing protein clumps, as a result of which the treated mice survived significantly longer. The results in mouse models for Alzheimer's disease are also encouraging.

Timely marketability of a new drug possible "Based on the results of its studies to date, MODAG GmbH gives me serious hope that, together with a new active ingredient, we can provide the urgently needed help for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients through early and safe therapy," explained MODAG- CEO, Dr. Torsten Matthias. The basic technology as a joint invention of the LMU and the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry is protected by patent law. It was exclusively licensed in by MODAG GmbH. Peer Biskup, Managing Director of Bayerische Patentallianz GmbH, which acts as the patent marketing agency for Bavarian universities and colleges, emphasized: "We are pleased that we were able to help develop the research skills of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical To bundle chemicals in the field of drug discovery in this promising spin-off company. ”Astrid Giegold, Start up & Portfolio Manager at Max Planck Innovation, the technology transfer organization of the Max Planck Society, also praised the collaboration and explained that MODAG "In addition to excellent research skills, we also have the necessary development skills and extensive business know-how". (fp)

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