To fund clinical trial for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Newron Pharmaceuticals, a research and development company focused on developing central nervous system and pain therapies, together with its Stockholm, Sweden-based subsidiary, NeuroNova, has received an award of up to €2.5m from the Wellcome Trust. The funding will support a phase I/II clinical trial for Newron’s experimental compound sNN0029 for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The pharmaceutical formulation of sNN0029 contains vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a naturally occurring molecule that has been proven to be an important survival factor for motor neurons.
In preclinical studies, sNN0029 has demonstrated the ability to modify disease progression and increase lifespan in an ALS model. It has also been successfully tested in a three-month phase I/II safety and tolerability study in ALS patients.
The Strategic Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust will provide funding for a new phase I/II trial with 6 months of treatment, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of higher doses of sNN0029 in patients with ALS. The trial should start during 2013.
In exchange for the funding, The Wellcome Trust will participate in future revenues originating from sNN0029. No further financial details have been revealed.
Stefan Weber, CEO of Newron, which is headquartered in Bresso, Italy, said: ‘ALS is a relentlessly progressive disease that leads to a fatal outcome for most patients within a few years of diagnosis and is an area of significant unmet medical need. Newron has a strategic focus on developing compounds for such rare or orphan indications in CNS and pain disorders.’