The biOasis Neurodegenerative Diseases Program
Neurodegenerative diseases are debilitating conditions that occur when nervous system cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord begin to deteriorate. Because neurons generally do not replicate, when they become damaged or die they cannot be replaced. As a result, neurodegenerative diseases are incurable and result in irreversible problems with movement (ataxias) or mental functioning (dementias). Dementias are the greater burden for healthcare systems with Alzheimer’s representing approximately 60-70% of dementia cases.
Neurodegenerative diseases generally strike in mid- to late-life. Due to the aging Baby Boomer population, it is expected that by 2030, 1 in 5 people in North America will be 65 years or older, resulting in increasing frequency of neurodegenerative diseases.
Some of the most common neurodegenerative diseases are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
- Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Huntington’s Disease (HD)
The 2014 drug market estimate for neurodegenerative diseases is approximately $20 billion and is expected to increase due to the aging population. Many pharmaceutical companies and institutions are engaged in the search for effective therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.
Experiments with the biOasis Transcend Platform and an Alzheimer’s Anti-Aβ Antibody have shown that Transcend is able to transport the antibody across the blood-brain barrier.
Based on this experiment and on the increasing potential commercial markets for neurodegenerative diseases therapeutics, biOasis has established an in-house Neurodegenerative Disease Program.
Study: Transcend (MTf) and Alzheimer’s Anti-Aβ Antibody
Disease: Alzheimer’s Disease
Treatment: Anti-Aβ Antibody (experimental)
Medical Problem: Alzheimer’s disease causes nerve death and tissue denegation in the brain. Eventually, the brain loses its vital functions and shrinks in size. Large peptides derived from proteins found in the fatty membrane surrounding nerve cells, called beta-amyloid (Aβ), clump together. These clumps of peptides continue to grow, killing neurons in the process and forming plaques in the brain. The plaques, consisting of insoluble amyloid β peptide, are thought to be responsible for the neuronal cell death by blocking the cell-to-cell signaling at synapses.
Anti-Aβ antibodies currently do not cross the blood brain barrier and therefore cannot be fully studied for the prevention of plaque accumulation in the brain.
Transcend Therapeutic: Transcend (MTf) + Anti-Aβ Antibody.
- Transcend + anti-Aβ antibody conjugate increases transport into brain tissue by ~5-fold.
Opportunity: Antibodies directed at Aβ could offer therapeutic opportunities for reducing amyloid plaques in the brain for a potential treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. The biOasis Transcend Platform is able to deliver the Anti-Aβ Antibody across the BBB and into the brain.
Plan of Action
biOasis believes that the Transcend Platform can deliver a wide range of therapeutics across the BBB for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and has established an in-house Neurodegenerative Disease Program.
The company’s plans for the Neurodegenerative Disease Program have yet to be announced.