Today, MJFF awardee ProteoTech, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, announced a funding agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (China) R&D Company Limited (GSK) to collaborate on ProteoTech’s therapeutic program targeting alpha-synuclein, whose clumping is the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD).
ProteoTech is the latest Foundation awardee to have announced follow-on funding deals with big pharma and venture capital firms, proving that early investment at the pre-clinical research stage does in fact expand investment in PD drug development, which in turn can accelerate promising targets to the clinic. Other MJFF awardees to announce additional funding deals this fall include AFFiRiS, Signum BioSciences, and Sapiens Pharmaceuticals.
ProteoTech’s alpha-synuclein therapeutic research program was provided over a four-year period from 2005 to 2009 by MJFF through a $3.1 million grant under the Foundation’s Linked Efforts to Accelerate Parkinson's Solutions (LEAPS) program. LEAPS provides multi-year, multi-million-dollar awards to help de-risk industry investment in PD, speeding progress toward treatment breakthroughs that will tangibly benefit the millions living with the disease. With MJFF funding, ProteoTech developed several promising small molecule compounds, one of which has been shown to reduce alpha-synuclein aggregates in the brains of a pre-clinical model of PD. Additional pre-clinical studies are ongoing, as researchers work to fully understand the compound’s mechanism of action ahead of anticipated clinical trials.
Read more about AFFiRiS' MJFF-funded work on a Parkinson's disease vaccine
Read more about Signum BioSciences' MJFF award targeting alpha-synuclein
Read more about Sapiens' MJFF-funded study on Deep Brain Stimulation