Mission Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based drug discovery and development company focused on selectively targeting deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), is to collaborate with global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie in the research and preclinical development of specified DUB inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are associated with the accumulation of misfolded, toxic proteins, which are believed to cause impaired function and death of nerve cells in the brain. DUBs play an important role in keeping a cell healthy by regulating the degradation of these proteins. There are over 100 different DUBs in humans. By modulating specific DUBs within the brain, AbbVie and Mission are aiming to develop potential therapeutics that enable the degradation of these toxic proteins and prevent their accumulation.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are the most common forms of neurological disorders. In 2017, an estimated 50 million people were living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; this number is expected to double every 20 years, reaching 75 million by 2030. More than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease. There are currently no treatments to stop or reverse either disease’s progression, only to alleviate the symptoms.
Dr James B Summers, AbbVie Vice President, Neuroscience Discovery Research, said:
“There is an urgent need for new treatments that will make a positive impact on the lives of patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Mission’s scientists have developed impressive early research toward the understanding of these diseases. Together, we will work to advance this early science and develop meaningful therapies.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Dr Anker Lundemose, Mission CEO, said:
“AbbVie is one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies, therefore having them as our first major collaborator is a great validation of our science. It also marks a significant milestone in our strategic aim of realising some of the value of our DUB expertise through key industry partnerships. The AbbVie team brings complementary capabilities and expertise as well as finance, and we greatly anticipate working with them. Together we can advance the development of Mission’s best-in-class, DUB technology platform to find effective treatments for these unmet neurodegenerative diseases.”
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