The San Diego, CA-based contract research organization (CRO), ChemDiv, has partnered with DZNE, an institution within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres with nine sites across Germany. DZNE will be providing financial resources to the collaboration in addition to that from the specialty life-science investment firm Torrey Pines Investment.
The program aims to identify small molecule leads modulating NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and activation and extends from a 2016 collaboration agreement that focused on pathways and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration.
Abnormal NLRP3 function is implicated in several autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, other forms of dementia, as well as multiple sclerosis.
ChemDiv and DZNE have identified four areas of biology which they said have “high promise for meaningful new therapeutic drugs.” The areas include innate immune signaling, mitophysiology, and intracellular trafficking, in addition to inflammasomes.
“The program was formed to use each party's unique capabilities and strengths to move academic-stage CNS therapeutic ideas and clinical hypotheses into translational development and evaluate commercial feasibility; in order to generate new ways of treating, and ameliorating, and potentially preventing neurodegenerative disorders,” Ron Demuth, general manager of ChemDiv, told us.
As per next steps, the ChemDiv and DZNE will work to discover, develop, and validate new candidate molecules for development into therapeutics to treat and manage aberrant inflammation – a process in the early genesis of neurodegeneration, Demuth explained.
The companies noted they are welcoming collaboration with pharma and biotech partners to help further accelerate commercialization.