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STORM Therapeutics partners with FutureNeuro to explore epilepsy treatments

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STORM Therapeutics, the Babraham Research Campus-based biotechnology company, has entered into a partnership with FutureNeuro to explore potential treatments for epilepsy.

They will examine whether epilepsy’s development can be prevented or changed using a novel form of gene regulation.

From left, Tony Kouzarides, STORM Therapeutics CEO Keith Blundy and Eric Miska. Picture: Keith Heppell
From left, Tony Kouzarides, STORM Therapeutics CEO Keith Blundy and Eric Miska. Picture: Keith Heppell

STORM Therapeutics is focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapies modulating RNA epigenetics.

CEO Dr Keith Blundy said: “We believe in partnering with the best scientists to innovate and create value. This partnership with FutureNeuro to advance RNA modifying treatments is an innovative approach based on novel biology and may have benefits for people with epilepsy.”

FutureNeuro is the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases, hosted by RCSI - the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland - an international health sciences university and research institution.

The project will be led by Dr Gary Brennan at University College Dublin (UCD) and Professor David Henshall in RCSI.

Dr Brennan, assistant professor in UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, said: “We are delighted to enter this exciting partnership with STORM Therapeutics, which is leading the way in developing drugs which target the proteins that make RNA modifications.

“We hope this will lead to new treatments, which can improve the lives of people with epilepsy. This is a very new field and we are excited to see what our studies uncover.”

STORM Therapeutics, which won Biotech Start-up of the Year at the 2017 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards , is developing a unique platform and pipeline to address these RNA modifying enzymes, including RNA methyltransferases.

It already has connections in Ireland as it is backed by Irish venture capital firm Seroba Life Sciences.

The study follows work Dr Brennan initiated through a Science Foundation Ireland Starting Investigator Grant (SIRG), which he used to set up his own independent research group studying epilepsy.

He will initially study the treatment option in temporal lobe epilepsy, which is the most common form of epilepsy in adults and often resistant to drug treatments.

Prof Fergal O’Brien, director of research and innovation at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, said: “This project builds on the work started by Dr Brennan and Prof Henshall here in RCSI and we are very pleased to provide the facilities which are enabling and enhancing this type of work in FutureNeuro.”

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