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Inflazome Receives Funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

  • Funding in excess of US$1 million to support the development of a
    brain imaging probe for patient diagnosis and the clinical development
    of drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases
  • Inflazome is developing orally available drugs to address clinical
    unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting the NLRP3
    inflammasome
  • NLRP3 activation is now associated with the progression of Parkinson’s
    Disease

DUBLIN & CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Inflazome (inflazome.com),
the pioneering biotech company developing several small molecule drugs
that inhibit harmful inflammation, today announces it has been awarded
funding in excess of US$1 million by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for
Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). The grant will fund the development of a
NLRP3-specific Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracer to allow
non-invasive imaging of inflammasome-driven inflammation in the brain.

To enhance the accuracy and probability of success of a clinical trial
in neurodegenerative disease, it is important to select suitable
patients at the appropriate staging of the disease. It is also essential
to determine whether the biological target of interest is being engaged
by the drug in the brain. One approach to achieve this in the central
nervous system (CNS) is by using an NLRP3-specific tracer during a PET
scan. The tracer could quickly, accurately and non-invasively produce
images showing the drug binding to target inflammasomes in the brain.

The NLRP3 inflammasome is believed to drive chronic inflammation
associated with the progression of many neurodegenerative diseases,
including Parkinson’s Disease. The PET tracer will also help Inflazome
to determine what doses are needed for patients in larger clinical
trials in the future. The Principal Investigator on this project is
Prof. Matthew Cooper, CEO and co-founder of Inflazome, who is assisted
by Co-Investigator Dr David Miller, Head of Medicinal Chemistry.

Inflazome is developing orally available drugs to address clinical unmet
needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome,
which is now understood to drive many chronic and acute inflammatory
conditions. The NLRP3 inflammasome was recently shown to be associated
with the progression of Parkinson’s Disease in humans and in
non-clinical models, in research published on 31 October 2018 in Science
Translational Medicine (Link).

This innovative research was co-authored by Prof. Cooper with research
teams at The University of Queensland, Australia, led by A/Prof. Trent
Woodruff and funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s
Research and the Shake It Up Australia Foundation.

Prof Matt Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO of Inflazome, commented: “The
Michael J. Fox Foundation is a fantastic organisation with a passionate
commitment to new science, science translation and candidate therapies
for Parkinson’s. We are fully aligned in our shared goal to help
patients with Parkinson’s and other debilitating neurodegenerative
diseases, for which there are inadequate therapies and no cures. Their
support will help us advance and hopefully validate our disruptive
approach to diagnose and then treat patients by focusing on
neuroinflammation.”

Dr Jamie Eberling, Director of Research Programs at MJFF, said, “An
imaging tool to visualize neuroinflammation may help investigate
Parkinson’s onset and progression as well as evaluate new treatments
that could alter the course of the disease. Our Foundation is investing
in this research due to the significant potential impact on drug
development and patient lives.”

About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder
worldwide, affecting more than 10 million people. It is characterised by
the loss of dopamine-producing neurons, accompanied by chronic
inflammation in the brain. Inflazome has identified drugs to stop the
chronic cycle of inflammation in the brain. Research published in
Science Translational Medicine on 31 October 2018 found that the tool
compound MCC950, a potent inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome, given
orally once a day could stop neuroinflammation. MCC950 arrested the
effects of Parkinson’s in several animal models of the disease, leading
to reduced brain neuron loss and higher levels of dopamine.

A link to a Parkinson’s Disease explainer video can be found here

About Inflazome

To learn more please visit: inflazome.com

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

To learn more please visit: https://www.michaeljfox.org/

Contacts

Inflazome:
Dr Jeremy Skillington | VP Business Development
E:
[email protected]

Media Contacts:
FTI Consulting (Ireland)
Jonathan
Neilan, Paddy Berkery
E: [email protected];
[email protected]
T:
+353 (1) 765 0884

FTI Consulting (UK)
Brett Pollard, Ciara Martin
E: [email protected];
[email protected]
T:
+44 (0) 20 3727 1000

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