United Neuroscience, Ltd., (UNS), today announced that it has entered a research collaboration agreement with the Ronald Melki laboratory at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) to investigate applications of the United Neuroscience Endobody technology platform in targeting pathogenic forms of alpha-synuclein protein. Under the agreement, United Neuroscience will contribute novel candidates targeting specific protein aggregates using the Endobody technology platform. Researchers in the CNRS laboratory will provide expertise in characterization of these candidates for key properties for their potential in generating therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies.
“Our vision at United Neuroscience is to leverage the expertise of a select few research groups worldwide working at the forefront of our understanding of the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease such as the Ronald Melki laboratory,” commented Mei Mei Hu, chief executive officer of United Neuroscience. “We believe that a collaborative development strategy is an efficient way to bring treatments to patients for us given the extremely broad potential of our Endobody technology for generating therapeutic and preventive endobodies within the body. We are confident that this collaboration will enhance our program and further confirm the safety and efficacy of our candidates as we move forward from preclinical to clinical development with vaccines that address what may be a root cause of Parkinson’s disease.”
“Developing an effective therapeutic for neurodegenerative disease requires not only a promising approach and a promising protein target, but also a focus on the proper species of misfolded protein relevant to the disease,” commented Ajay Verma, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of United Neuroscience. “The Melki laboratory is at the leading edge of defining the role of aberrant protein conformations in neurodegeneration. Our collaboration with the CNRS is intended to hone in on the particular conformers of alpha-synuclein that have the most promise in leading to an effective vaccine therapeutic for Parkinson’s disease.”
“The aggregation of the protein alpha-synuclein is intimately associated with Parkinson’s disease occurrence,” added Ronald Melki, Ph.D., CNRS Research Director at the Institute of Neurosciences Paris Saclay and leader of the United Neuroscience and Melki laboratory alpha-synuclein research collaboration. “Recent research has demonstrated that alpha-synuclein aggregates propagate from cell to cell within the central nervous system of patients and amplify in naïve neurons. This is believed to contribute to disease progression. We are encouraged by the potential of the United Neuroscience platform because of the properties it has demonstrated in clinical studies to date. United Neuroscience and CNRS intend to collaborate to target those protein aggregates, to identify specific signatures that allow the immune system to neutralize the aggregates and to design highly specific ligands that can be used for therapeutic and/or early diagnostic purposes.”