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Mission Therapeutics confirms potential Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s targets with AbbVie

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Mission Therapeutics has announced the identification of several enzymes that are potential targets for new Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease drugs, as part of its collaboration with global biopharmaceutical company AbbVie.

An MRI of the human brain (24865205)
An MRI of the human brain (24865205)

The companies launched a collaboration in November 2018 to identify specific DUBs – deubiquitylating enzymes – and discover compounds to inhibit them in the fight against these neurodegenerative diseases. AbbVie has the option to gain exclusive rights to develop and commercialise DUB inhibitors against up to four selected targets under the deal.

Mission Therapeutics, which has R&D facilities at Babraham Research Campus and offices at Granta Park, is eligible for milestone payments and royalties for each commercialised product under the deal. AbbVie has now nominated the panel of DUBs to progress for further characterisation and screening.

Dr Anker Lundemose, Mission’s CEO, said: “Partnering with AbbVie has been a great experience and instrumental for our research.

“AbbVie brings expertise and capabilities complementary to our own, and it is a testament to all involved that we have reached this important milestone. We have made good progress to-date and our high-quality data has enabled AbbVie to take the decision to select multiple DUBs for further investigation.

“We look forward to continuing to work together to discover and develop DUB inhibitors towards the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”

More than 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and 10 million with Parkinson’s. Both diseases are associated with the accumulation of misfolded proteins. It is believed these cause impaired function and the death of nerve cells in the brain. It is known that DUBs help to maintain healthy nerve cells, by regulating the degradation of toxic proteins.

AbbVie and Mission aim to modulate specific DUBs within the brain, enhancing the degradation of these toxic proteins to treat neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr Eric Karran, vice president, discovery neuroscience research at AbbVie, said: “The numbers of people living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is growing and there are currently no treatments capable of stopping or reversing either disease’s progression. This collaboration, using Mission’s DUB technology platform, shows promise for identifying potential drug targets and the development of new therapeutic options.”

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