PITTSBURGH, Sept. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Cognition Therapeutics Inc. (CogRx), a privately held, clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing disease-modifying therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that, aided by a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), it will use its validated discovery platform to simultaneously discover drug leads and novel targets in Parkinson’s disease, which affects one in one hundred adults over the age of 60. Parkinson’s research remains focused on finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease and development of treatments that can slow, stop or reverse the progression of the disease.
“We are honored to receive this award from The Michael J. Fox Foundation. The Foundation has assembled the most collaborative, supportive research networks in the world committed to stopping this disease, and we are very excited to be part of this dedicated community,” said Dr. Susan Catalano, Chief Science Officer of Cognition Therapeutics and Principal Investigator on the awarded project. “This grant provides rigorous peer-reviewed validation of the approach we’ve taken to Parkinson’s disease, and will enable us to discover drug candidates capable of stopping the toxic protein forms that cause the disease.”
Researchers at CogRx will evaluate drug candidates that may stop the toxic changes seen in Parkinson’s. Scientists believe that in Parkinson’s disease the protein alpha-synuclein changes shape, forming oligomers that aggregate and cause brain cell dysfunction and cell death. CogRx has developed methods to measure many of these toxic changes in brain cells grown in a petri dish. Using these methods, the company is also testing the effect of drug candidates on the toxic alpha-synuclein oligomers. If this research is successful, CogRx will be able to optimize an initial drug candidate to improve effectiveness at stopping the toxicity and will then test these in validated animal models.
There are currently no drugs available that can stop the toxic effects of alpha-synuclein oligomers on brain cells and slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Such a therapy would give hope to the millions of patients living with this disease and the many more who may age into Parkinson’s risk.
About CogRx’s Small Molecule Drug Discovery Technology Program
CogRx’s drug discovery platform is unique in that it measures restored brain cell function, which differentiates CogRx from its competitors. It has been deliberately designed for combined drug target and drug candidate discovery against neurotoxic protein accumulation and can be rapidly configured to model a number of neurodegenerative disorders in which abnormal protein accumulation occurs. CogRx has already discovered small molecule drug candidates that can efficiently displace from brain cells the toxic beta-amyloid oligomers implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and they have validated the platform by confirmation that these candidates can reverse cognitive deficits in animal models of Alzheimer’s. With this MJFF award, the company will pursue discovery and development of a new generation of compounds active against alpha-synuclein to unlock the potential of its platform for discovering drugs for Parkinson’s disease.
Cognition Therapeutics is a privately held Pittsburgh-based pharmaceutical company whose disease-relevant screening and novel chemistry platforms have produced a pipeline of new small molecule drug candidates to treat Alzheimer’s disease. CogRx’s leading clinical stage drug candidate, CT1812, restores memory to normal in Alzheimer’s disease models.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” concerning the development and commercialization of CogRx’s products, the potential benefits and attributes of such products, and CogRx’s expectations regarding its prospects. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to differ materially from such statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release. Actual results may vary. CogRx undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements for any reason.