Genzyme targets BBB

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Central nervous system Brain Neurology

Genzyme is evaluating to-BBB’s G-Technology as part of a research collaboration aimed at developing treatments capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

The BBB currently poses a substantial obstacle to drug companies developing treatments for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, hindering progress in the creation of medicines for diseases including Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Dutch brain drug delivery company to-BBB believes its G-Technology has the potential to overcome this obstacle and facilitate the delivery of a wide range of molecules, in particular biologics, to the brain.

G-Technology consists of liposomes coated with glutathione-conjugated polyethylene glycol (PEG). The therapeutic is encapsulated in the liposome, which is coated with PEG to prolong circulation time, and this protects it from degradation and immune response.

The other element of the delivery technology is glutathione, a naturally occurring anti-oxidant found in high levels in the brain. Glutathione receptors are found at the BBB and these facilitate the movement of the therapeutic into the brain.

to-BBB has performed proof-of-concept studies using peptides and small molecules and is developing an internal pipeline of products using G-Technology, including 2B3-101, a brain cancer treatment, which is due to enter clinical trials in the second half of 2010.

In addition to this internal development to-BBB has relationships with Shire, MedImmune and Genzyme. The research collaboration with Genzyme is focused on neurodegenerative diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement Genzyme will evaluate G-Technology in its disease models to “explore an essential component of [its] work to deliver therapies to the brain​”, according to Geoff McDonough, senior vice president at the biotech.

Willem van Weperen, CEO of to-BBB, added: “Combining the expertise of Genzyme in neurodegenerative diseases with to-BBB’s brain delivery knowledge, should lead to further progress in treating patients with brain diseases with biological drugs​.”

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