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Roche Buys MJFF-Grantee Inflazome in Deal to Develop Drugs against Inflammation

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Irish biotech Inflazome announced this week it has been bought by pharmaceutical company Roche. The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) was an early supporter of Inflazome, which is developing therapies against inflammation. People with Parkinson’s show inflammation in the brain, which scientists believe may contribute to disease progression.

MJFF supported Inflazome researchers for laboratory development of therapies against NLRP3, a protein that activates inflammation. We are also funding the company to develop brain imaging scans that can measure NLRP3 and assess the impact of therapies against the protein.

“Inflazome’s acquisition by Roche is a textbook example of our de-risking strategy and the essential role our Foundation plays in Parkinson’s drug development: helping scientists get off the ground with promising ideas and build data packages that attract larger funders with more resources to push treatments through expensive clinical testing,” said MJFF Vice President of Research Programs Marco Baptista, PhD. “The imaging grant is also illustrative of our support for field-enabling tools; such a scan would help not only Inflazome but also other researchers targeting inflammation.”

Inflazome has moved two NLRP3 drugs into clinical trials in control volunteers with positive safety and tolerability results. They hope to move forward with testing in a Parkinson’s population next year. Roche purchased Inflazome for €380 million (about $448 million).

Read more about inflammation and Parkinson’s disease.

Watch a video on the immune system and inflammation’s role in Parkinson’s.

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