Rhenovia Pharma, a biosimulation biotech company based in Mulhouse, France and Cambridge, Mass., has initiated drug research programs in rare, orphan and neglected neurodegenerative diseases.
Rhenovia’s decision to expand its expertise to cover rare, orphan and neglected diseases is in response to recent data from France’s Ministry of Health suggesting 25 million Europeans suffer from a rare disease. Rhenovia’s initial focus will be on Huntington’s disease (HD) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
As a first step, Rhenovia is building a new biosimulation platform (RHENOMS STRI) aimed at modeling the complex interplay between biological mechanisms in striatum, the brain region that is most affected in HD—a fatal, rare neurodegenerative disease that is difficult to treat due to its broad spectrum of symptoms.
“It is exactly because of this variety and often opposite syndromes that the biosimulation approach is probably the most appropriate strategy in the search for new treatments,” said Dr. Serge Bischoff, president and CEO of Rhenovia. “It will allow us to integrate the complexity of the biological systems affected by HD and to address the multifactorial nature of this disease.”
The objective of Rhenovia’s HD program is to provide new tools and solutions to optimize the Drug Discovery and Development (DD&D) process and accelerate the search for new treatment strategies and medications, not only for relieving HD patients from their symptoms, but also for modifying the course of their illness. A further objective is to consolidate Rhenovia’s own pipeline of drug candidates.
A second direction in Rhenovia’s rare, orphan and neglected disease program is the development of a modeling and simulation platform designed to better understand the basic mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment and mental affects associated with muscular dystrophies, with a focus on DMD. The DMD focus was dictated by Rhenovia’s privileged partnership with the French Association against Myopathies.
Bischoff added, “Strengthening our efforts in the domain of neglected, and especially rare diseases, will not only contribute to a better understanding of the biological mechanisms and pathological manifestations underlying these diseases, but will also markedly consolidate the biosimulation technology mastered by Rhenovia.”