The editing in human cells and in mice of the survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1) restored the levels of SMN protein that the mutation of the SMN2 gene produces in spinal muscular atrophy. Scientists from the Broad Institute in Boston and The Ohio State University reversed the mutation using the base editing technique.
Confo Therapeutics NV closed out March in much the same way as it began the month – with a deal. The Ghent, Belgium-based company has entered a collaboration agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. to generate brain-penetrant small-molecule agonists to an undisclosed G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) implicated in central nervous system diseases.
It’s been nearly 10 years since John Alam co-founded privately held EIP Pharma Inc. and the company’s upcoming merger with publicly traded Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. will add scientific and financial muscle to its drive for a successful Lewy body treatment. To him, dealing with groundbreaking science requires patience.
Biorchestra Co. Ltd. reached an exclusive research, option and licensing contract with a U.S.-based company to use its targeting technology platform to develop nucleic acid therapies to treat neurological disorders in a deal valued up to $861 million.
After Novartis AG decided not to take it forward in-house, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse is to fund phase III development of mavoglurant in the treatment of cocaine abuse disorder. The agreement to back a trial involving up to 330 participants is with Stalicla SA, which in-licensed the glutamate receptor antagonist from Novartis earlier this year.
Biohaven Ltd. has acquired global rights, excluding China, from Highlightll Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to develop and commercialize a dual inhibitor of tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) and JAK1, BHV-8000 (TLL-041), for the treatment of brain disorders in a deal worth up to $970 million.
Just days after Karuna Therapeutics Inc. reported positive data from a third registrational trial of Karxt (xanomeline plus trospium) in schizophrenia, Puretech Health plc sold a portion of its royalty in Karxt in a potential $500 million agreement with Royalty Pharma. Puretech was a founder of Karuna and co-inventor of Karxt, an oral M1/M4-preferring muscarinic agonist.
FDA approval of Aduhelm (aducanumab), as the first disease modifying drug for Alzheimer’s, may have had a distinctly lukewarm reception in some quarters, but it is an important starting point in treating dementia, with a myriad of other avenues now being pursued in discovery and development.
If you believe the theme of the World Dementia Council (WDC) meeting in London this week, dementia is “in a new era,” where it will be possible to prevent, diagnose and treat neurodegenerative disease. That is not the case for most people living with dementia today, but the approval of the first disease-modifying drugs and the imminent arrival of new blood-based biomarkers is “a big moment,” Lenny Shallcross, executive director of WDC told the meeting on Mar. 20.