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Companies Forge Huntington’s Disease Therapeutic and Companion Biomarker Collaboration

Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013
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KineMed, Isis and CHDI collaborate to advance therapeutic development for Huntington’s disease and develop novel biomarkers for pre-clinical and clinical use in drug development and therapeutic monitoring.

KineMed, Inc., Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., and CHDI Foundation, Inc., announced that they are collaborating to utilize KineMed’s translational biomarker platform with Isis’ antisense therapeutic program for Huntington’s disease (HD). This collaboration, which builds on an earlier alliance between CHDI and KineMed to develop companion biomarkers of therapeutic response in HD, will provide Isis access to novel biomarkers for use in the development of an antisense drug to treat HD.

“A pharmacodynamic biomarker could be an important contribution to our clinical development efforts, and we look forward to working with KineMed and CHDI to evaluate KineMed’s biomarker platform in our Huntington’s disease program,” said Frank Bennett, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research at Isis.

“This companion biomarker partnership represents personalized medicine in action,” said Patrizia Fanara, Ph.D., Vice President of Neuroscience KineMed. “Our neurodegeneration-specific biomarkers, which provide dynamic measures of axonal transport deficits in degenerating brain cells, predict therapeutic response in neurological and neuromuscular disorders. This is a translational biomarker that could prove crucial to the advancement of disease-modifying treatments. With the Huntington’s disease domain knowledge that CHDI brings and the therapeutic approach that Isis is pioneering, this partnership has the potential to develop biomarkers for specific therapeutics for Huntington’s disease and lead to personalized medicines for Huntington’s patients.”

“There is a critical need to identify appropriate biomarkers to determine target engagement and predict early clinical efficacy for future Huntington’s disease clinical trials,” said Jonathan Bard, Ph.D., Director of Molecular Pharmacology for CHDI Foundation. “Combining Isis’ knowledge of antisense therapies with KineMed’s expertise in developing unique pharmacodynamic biomarkers creates a collaboration with great potential for discovering such tools for Huntington’s disease.”

KineMed’s neurodegeneration biomarker of axonal transport deficit has been recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation1 and validated in patients with other neurological disorders.

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