25 January 2022
Through its innovative Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech, Parkinson’s UK is investing £185,000 in EndLyz Therapeutics, Inc. (“EndLyz”). This new Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)-founded biotech will develop disease-modifying therapeutics, which restore lysosomal function and combat neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s and other related conditions.
EndLyz is capitalising on the experience of its two Oxford-based scientific co-founders: the biology expertise and preclinical models of Professor Richard Wade-Martins and his colleagues, as well as the extensive drug discovery work of Dr John Davis. Some of the foundations for this work have been laid by the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre, at the University of Oxford, which has received over £10m of funding from Parkinson’s UK since 2010.
The company creation was championed by the DDF co-founders, Dr Zaven Kaprielian and Dr Joanna Wolak from SV Health Investors - a global investment fund that invests in companies seeking to develop breakthrough treatments that address critical unmet medical needs.
Recent research suggests that lysosomes - packets of digestive chemicals that help to break down and recycle unwanted material inside cells - may be central to the development and progression of Parkinson's. When lysosomes don’t work properly, brain cells can’t get rid of old and damaged proteins which build up and clump together, slowly choking cells.
EndLyz will focus on developing new therapies that restore efficient lysosomal function and are believed to hold the potential for halting the progression of neurodegeneration.
Dr Joanna Wolak, who leads the Company as its President and Chief Scientific Officer, comments:
“We’re excited about EndLyz’s mission to develop disease-modifying therapeutics that restore endolysosomal function to address neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s and other related conditions. We have fantastic scientists and a strong syndicate of investors to support our efforts and make EndLyz a success.
“It’s a privilege to be supported by Parkinson’s UK, who represent and act in the best interest of the Parkinson’s community.”
As well as providing investment for this exciting new venture, Parkinson’s UK will also contribute the knowledge and expertise of its Virtual Biotech scientific team to support the Company’s programmes.
Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, comments:
“We’re delighted to be supporting EndLyz as they seek to create new therapies for Parkinson’s.
“There is growing evidence that the endolysosomal system - responsible for waste disposal inside the cell - becomes dysfunctional in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative conditions. Finding therapies that can restore this system has exciting potential for slowing or stopping the progression of these conditions in completely new ways.
“The creation of EndLyz represents the culmination of many years of painstaking work to unravel the role of the endolysosomal system in Parkinson’s carried out by scientists at the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre and elsewhere. It’s wonderful to see their discoveries being taken forward with focus and determination to create potentially life-changing new therapies.”