ProMIS Neurosciences Inc. (PMN:TSX; ARFXF:OTCQB) has identified several targets displayed on toxic oligomers of alpha-synuclein, a protein believed to be a root cause of Parkinson's disease, and generated antibodies that protected brain neurons against those oligomers in vitro.
"I expect further development of these antibody candidates will offer real hope for disease-modifying therapy in Parkinson's disease," Dr. James Kupiec, ProMIS' chief medical officer, said in a news release.
The in vitro research involved testing ProMIS antibodies on rat primary dopaminergic neurons that had been exposed to toxic alpha-synuclein oligomers and consequently injured. The work was performed by Neuron Experts, a contract research organization in Marseilles, France.
A number of ProMIS antibodies that selectively target toxic alpha-synuclein oligomers "significantly blocked the death of neurons induced by these oligomers," noted the release.
The next steps are for ProMIS to corroborate the findings and choose the candidates with the most potential for development.
Because the Parkinson's disease program is "an ideal pharma partnering opportunity," according to ProMIS Executive Chairman Eugene Williams, the company retained Cambridge, Mass.-based Red Sky Partners to support those efforts.
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