Parkinson’s UK invests further £490K in NRG Therapeutics Parkinson’s Drug Discovery Programme
Cambridge, UK, 23 August 2021 - NRG Therapeutics Ltd (“NRG” or “company”), an innovative neuroscience company targeting mitochondrial dysfunction, today announced further equity investment of £490k from Parkinson’s UK, to support the development of disease modifying drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s.
Following positive progress, this is the third investment Parkinson’s UK has made into NRG Therapeutics, bringing the total amount to £2.5m. The funding comes via the charity’s drug development arm, the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech, a programme which is plugging the funding gap to fast-track the projects with the greatest scientific potential to transform the lives of people with Parkinson’s. This new funding will be used to progress the company’s lead drug candidates toward preclinical development candidate nomination.
NRG is applying breakthrough science in the field of mitochondrial biology to develop first-in-class treatments for Parkinson’s. Its approach is based on inhibiting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) in brain cells which has been shown to be neuroprotective in several preclinical models of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
NRG Therapeutics’ co-founder and CEO Dr Neil Miller said, “Discovering our lead drug candidate would not have been possible without Parkinson’s UK support. We are delighted to receive further investment that will enable us to advance our unique drug candidates. We are passionate about finding new treatments that offer hope and could change the lives of those with Parkinson’s and are encouraged by our preclinical data.”
NRG is developing novel, ‘second generation’ mPTP inhibitors with true small-molecule drug-like properties. Backed by Parkinson’s UK, it has discovered the first orally bioavailable and CNS penetrant mPTP inhibitors. Classical ‘first-generation’ inhibitors of the mPTP, such as cyclosporin A, inhibit cyclophilin D (CypD), a protein that is believed to regulate the pore. However, all historical attempts to develop CypD inhibitors that can cross the blood-brain barrier have been unsuccessful.
The Company has identified multiple series of novel mPTP inhibitors that were discovered via phenotypic screening in isolated mitochondria. Two of these chemical series, shown to act independently of CypD, have now been progressed into lead optimization. Both series have the potential to be developed for motor neuron disease (MND) as well as Parkinson’s.
Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson's UK, said, “We’re delighted to further support NRG Therapeutics’ programme to find disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson’s. We have made significant progress with the company over the past two years and share a long-standing commitment to finding a treatment for Parkinson’s.
“Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. All current Parkinson’s therapies only help to manage symptoms and there is an important need for new and better treatments that can slow down the devastating progression of the condition. By partnering with institutions and pharmaceutical companies worldwide that have the R&D tools and expertise to progress projects, the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech enables the most promising discoveries to be developed into new drug treatments to transform the lives of people with Parkinson’s.”
NRG will seek to secure a Series A funding to advance its assets into the clinic, with the aim of completing IND-enabling studies for its lead asset by the end of 2023.
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NRG Therapeutics – http://www.nrgtherapeutics.com
NRG Therapeutics is a neuroscience drug discovery company building a pipeline of disease modifying drug candidates, focused on therapeutic approaches that will restore mitochondrial function and slow or halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MND, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as it is also known.
The company’s pre-clinical pipeline of small molecule assets is based on inhibiting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. Inhibition of the mPTP has been shown to protect neurons, reduce neuroinflammation and extend survival in pre-clinical disease models.
Based in Cambridge, UK, NRG Therapeutics is a private company with equity investment from Parkinson’s UK and grant funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
About Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s UK
Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.
Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Around 145,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s.
For more facts and statistics, please click here.
Further information, advice and support is available on our website, www.parkinsons.org.uk.
About The Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech
People with Parkinson’s urgently need new treatments. But right now, there’s a huge gap in drug development. The Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech exists to bridge that critical funding shortage.
It takes the most promising research and partners with institutions and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to develop the findings into plausible drug treatments. Currently there are projects at the discovery, preclinical and early clinical development stages.
With no large teams of scientists or expensive labs to run, the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech ensures that every penny of the annual £4m investment goes on what matters most: fast tracking the projects with the greatest potential to transform the lives of people with Parkinson’s.
No one else is doing this. It’s a bold risk. But we believe it will deliver a groundbreaking new treatment by 2024. Because people with Parkinson’s won’t wait. Together, we’ll find a cure.
To find out more, visit https://www.parkinsonsvirtualbiotech.co.uk/