Alkahest Receives Grant from Michael J. Fox Foundation; Funding Will Support Preclinical Evaluation of ALK4290 for Parkinson’s Disease
May 21, 2018
SAN CARLOS, Calif., — Alkahest, Inc. (“Alkahest”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing innovative therapies to treat age-related diseases, today announced that it has been awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) entitled “Development of ALK4290 as a novel PD therapeutic” under the Principal Investigator S. Sakura Minami, Ph.D.
“Parkinson’s disease is a condition with significant impact on patients whose needs are still unmet. We are excited about the prospects of evaluating ALK4290 as a novel therapeutic in this indication and continuing our commitment to developing innovative treatments for age-related disorders,” said Steven Braithwaite, Alkahest’s Chief Scientific Officer.
This project will focus on the mechanisms underlying immune cell involvement in Parkinson’s disease, providing further support for the link between neuroinflammation and disease progression. ALK4290 is a novel, orally-available, small molecule that has been well-tolerated in previous clinical studies and is concurrently being studied in Phase 2 trials in wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). Alkahest acquired ALK4290 from Boehringer-Ingelheim and has exclusive rights for development and commercialization worldwide.
“Our Foundation funds novel approaches to slow or stop Parkinson’s progression, the greatest unmet need for the millions living with this disease,” said Liliana Menalled, Ph.D., MJFF Senior Associate Director of Research Programs. “The ALK4290 molecule shows strong data to support additional evaluation as a potential Parkinson’s therapy, and we look forward to seeing the results of Alkahest’s experiments.”
About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive disorder of the central nervous system. The disease is the result of the loss of cells in a region of the brain called the substantia nigra. Loss of these critical nerve cells in the brain leaves patients unable to direct or control their movements in a normal manner. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Drugs have been developed that can help patients manage many of the symptoms, but they do not stop the disease from progressing. Nearly one million Americans currently live with Parkinson’s and approximately 60,000 more receive diagnosis of the disease every year.
Alkahest is a privately-held clinical-stage company based in San Carlos, CA developing treatments for age-related diseases, with an emphasis on neurodegeneration — a key medical challenge for our generation. The company’s breakthrough research has discovered changes in the plasma proteome in healthy aging and age-related diseases, and demonstrated that factors in the blood plasma can be augmented or inhibited in order to reverse detrimental effects of aging in both normal aging and disease models in animals. Alkahest is developing novel plasma-based products in collaboration with Barcelona, Spain-based Grifols, a global healthcare company and leading producer of plasma therapies.
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