The organisations plan to develop therapies targeting neuroinflammation to slow the progression of Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s UK, a charitable funder of Parkinson’s research, and Domainex have announced a collaboration aiming to develop small molecule therapies that could slow the progression of Parkinson’s.
Domainex, an integrated medicines research services partner, will provide drug discovery services including assay biology, medicinal and computational chemistry. The project is planned to take place across a two-and-a-half-year period, with Parkinson’s UK investing up to £3m via its drug development arm - the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech.
Inflammation is vital for defending the body from infections, injuries and toxins. In Parkinson’s there is excessive chronic inflammation within the brain. Researchers now believe this inflammation may play a role in the damage the condition causes to brain cells. Previous work by Parkinson’s UK has led to the identification of novel small molecules which target a protein found on the surface of microglia, the main immune cells in the brain that become overactive in Parkinson’s. Domainex will conduct integrated drug discovery, optimising the pharmaceutical properties of these molecules with the ultimate aim of nominating a clinical candidate.
“We are thrilled to have been selected by Parkinson’s UK to work on this promising project which has the potential to improve the lives of 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK,” said Tom Mander, CEO of Domainex. “Domainex has built up significant expertise of working with several charities and patient foundations, including projects funded by the British Heart Foundation, CHDI Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, where we have utilised our extensive knowledge to add significant value. We look forward to working with the team at Parkinson’s UK and supporting the wider Parkinson’s community to progress the development of potentially life-changing medicines.”
Dr Richard Morphy, Drug Discovery Manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Domainex was selected following an extensive review process on the basis of their experience and capability to execute a fully integrated drug discovery project, including the development of neuroinflammation assays and the optimisation of our compounds’ target engagement in the brain. We’re delighted to work with Domainex and our other project partners to find compounds that can mitigate the damaging microglial over-activation in Parkinson’s.”