The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Anelixis Therapeutics, a translational medicine and drug development company, have partnered with Swiss biotech company Neurimmune to advance potential treatments for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
The research partnership will explore a human monoclonal antibody that targets misfolded superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Misfolded SOD1 accumulates in familial and sporadic ALS, suggesting a generalized role as a drug target for ALS treatments.
Steve Perrin, Ph.D., CEO and chief scientific officer of ALS TDI, said, "Recent evidence would suggest that therapies targeting misfolded SOD1 could be important in both sporadic and familial forms of ALS.”
The collaboration will explore the high-affinity human antibodies developed by Neurimmune that selectively target misfolded SOD1. In preclinical studies with transgenic mice, chronic antibody treatment significantly reduced SOD1 pathology and rescued spinal cord motor neurons, resulting in significantly reduced muscle atrophy, better motor functions and increased survival.