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NRG Therapeutics and Domainex aim to develop novel small-molecule drugs to treat neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.
NRG Therapeutics, a UK-based neuroscience company targeting mitochondrial dysfunction, and Domainex, a UK-based integrated medicines research service company, have formed a collaboration to develop novel small-molecule, disease-modifying drugs to treat Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease (MND), and other debilitating chronic neurodegenerative disorders.
Under the deal, Domainex will provide fully integrated lead optimization services, including assay biology and medicinal and computational chemistry, according to a June 30, 2022 company press release. Over the course of a one-year period, NRG Therapeutics is expected to potentially invest more than £1 million (US$1.2 million) in the project. This program follows a £2.68 million (US$3.2 million) early stage Biomedical Catalyst award granted to NRG Therapeutics by Innovate UK.
NRG Therapeutics’ previous work, funded by Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech, the drug development arm of Parkinson’s UK, has resulted in the identification of a series of small-molecule leads that inhibit the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), a transmembrane protein in the mitochondrial inner membrane that is critical for cell signaling and regulated cell death. It has been shown that inhibition of mPTP in brain cells has neuroprotective benefits, as demonstrated in several preclinical models of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, according to the press release.
Domainex’s previous work, which has also been funded by Innovate UK, include a project targeting IκB kinase epsilon/TANK binding kinase 1 for treating inflammatory disease.
In their collaboration, NRG Therapeutics and Domainex will carry out an integrated lead optimization program to optimize the pharmaceutical properties of small-molecule mPTP inhibitors. Their ultimate aim is to nominate a pre-clinical candidate for treating Parkinson’s or MND.
“We hope that this program will result in a new treatment for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, which will ultimately benefit patients who desperately need new treatment options for these devasting disease,” said Tom Mander, CEO of Domainex, in the press release.
“Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common underlying pathology in many degenerative diseases, and there is a substantial body of preclinical data available, which demonstrates that inhibition of the mPTP in the brain prevents neuronal cell death, reduces neuroinflammation, and extends survival in animals. We look forward to working with Domainex to progress the development of these compounds into potentially life-changing medicines,” said Neil Miller, co-founder and CEO of NRG Therapeutics, in the release.