Cypralis Limited Announces Grant Award from Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Cypralis, a life sciences company focussed on the discovery of therapeutics for the modulation of peptidyl-prolyl isomerases (PPIases), has been awarded funding of $524,000 by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). The ADDF funding will augment the existing collaboration, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, between Cypralis and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen) which aims to develop new cyclophilin inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases.
Cyclophilin inhibitors on the market or in development are non-selective between the four commonly screened cyclophilin isoforms A, B, C and D. Cypralis and Janssen are currently undertaking a joint research programme to generate a new class of CNS penetrant, selective inhibitors of cyclophilin D applicable to targeting degenerative diseases including CNS degeneration. The ADDF funding will enable Cypralis to extend ‘hit-to-lead’ medicinal chemistry and broaden its library of novel brain-penetrant cyclophilin inhibitors, whilst continuing to participate in the joint research programme with Janssen.
Dr Michael Peel, CSO of Cypralis, commented: ‘The ADDF funding opens an exciting pathway towards developing a novel class of cyclophilin D inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Many previous publications have recognised the potential for cyclophilin D as a novel target for degenerative disease but no group has published on compounds which combine sub-type selectivity and brain penetration. If data from the ADDF funding is encouraging, Cypralis would expect to initiate a Lead Optimisation campaign in early 2018 with the goal of generating a novel pre-clinical candidate for this extremely challenging and devastating disease.’
Dr Howard Fillit, CSO of the ADDF, added: ‘With ADDF funding, Cypralis will use its extensive knowledge of cyclophilin inhibitors to explore their potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurogenerative diseases. We are excited to support this first-in-class program.’
For further information see the press release
Cypralis was spun out from Selcia Limited (Ongar, Essex) in 2013 to exploit its extensive expertise and know-how in targeting peptidyl-prolyl isomerases (known as PPIases), a large family of druggable protein targets involved in many acute and chronic diseases. Cypralis is dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics through inhibition of PPIases and expects to build upon its existing intellectual property estate through its own R&D activities and also through risk-sharing collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.
About the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Founded in 1998 by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. The ADDF is the only public charity focused solely on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer's, employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academia and the biotechnology industry. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded $100 million to fund more than 500 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs and clinical trials in 18 countries.
About Alzheimer’s disease
Approximately 850,000 people in the UK and 44 million worldwide are living with dementia, a condition caused by a group of neurodegenerative diseases of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. In the US, it remains the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented or even slowed. The cost to the global economies is huge and is estimated to represent £24 billion a year to the UK and $236 billion to the US, a significant proportion of this being borne by family and friends providing informal care. Because people are living longer, the number of people with dementia is increasing dramatically. Medicines available for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease are ‘symptomatic’ and only provide relief for a limited period of time. There remains a desperate need for ‘disease modifying’ treatments, able to slow down the underlying progression of the disease.