Cambridge, Mass.-based ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), one of the largest ALS drug development centers, has entered into a partnership with Netherlands-based biotech Regenesance to investigate a potential treatment for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The collaboration will enable ALS TDI to screen novel compounds against a crucial pathway implicated in the development and progression of ALS. The compounds developed by Regenesance target a highly specific aspect of the immune system, called the complement pathway. The complement pathway is a central part of the immune system and activation occurs in neurodegenerative disorders. Regenesance has shown that complement activation can cause nerve damage and may profoundly impair neuroregeneration. ALS TDI will use tightly controlled preclinical models of ALS to evaluate whether the compounds developed by Regenesance prevent nerve damage and have an effect on the onset or progression of ALS.
“We have shown in preclinical tests that inhibition of the complement pathway accelerates nerve regeneration,” said Frank Baas, CSO of Regenesance.
Steve Perrin, CEO and CSO of ALS TDI, added, “This partnership is an example of how important collaboration is to defeat a disease like ALS.”