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Selcia and NeuroVive to Develop New Mitochondrial Medicines

Published: Monday, October 10, 2011
Last Updated: Monday, October 10, 2011
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Selcia Limited and NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB have signed a research collaboration agreement to develop new medicines and drug compounds targeting mitochondrial physiology and pathophysiology.

The collaboration is focused on mitochondrial medicine, an emerging therapeutic modality that promises innovative new treatments for major chronic diseases, such as cancer and obesity, and acute conditions such as stroke and heart failure.

Selcia and NeuroVive will jointly invest in the collaboration to combine Selcia´s leading expertise in medicinal and analytical chemistry, with NeuroVive´s advanced research and development programs in mitochondrial medicine.

Mitochondria are well known as the energy-producing powerhouses of all cells and are critical for optimal cellular function and survival, as well as initiating cell death. Research has implicated mitochondrial dysfunction in acute conditions: such as stroke and heart failure; chronic diseases like diabetes; within neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer´s disease; and in the ageing process. Impaired cellular energy levels is a primary result of mitochondrial dysfunction, which has a number of causes ranging from free radical damage to genetic mutations. Mitochondrial medicines seek to optimise cellular energy levels and health through protecting or enhancing mitochondrial function.

Simon Saxby, CEO of Selcia, commented on the collaboration; “We are delighted to be collaborating with NeuroVive in the area of mitochondrial medicine. Our combined resources have the potential to yield a number of new drugs and supplements that could revolutionise the treatment of diseases caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as recovery regimens for a number of patient populations”.

Mikael Brönnegård, CEO of NeuroVive Pharmaceutical, said, “In this collaboration with Selcia, NeuroVive will target the development of new drugs that are at the cutting edge for diseases like stroke, heart attack, obesity, and cancer – all large potential markets with significant burden of disease. This will add new drug entities to NeuroVive's broad development pipeline and will enable the company to capitalise on the commercial opportunities deriving from our leading expertise in mitochondrial research, including our cyclophilin-D program”.

NeuroVive´s CSO Eskil Elmér, added: “Mitochondrial medicine deals with conditions that are related to mitochondrial dysfunction (i.e., reduced or limited energy production) due to a number of causes ranging from specific genetic mutations to disease-related secondary mitochondrial damage. It also applies to situations requiring an increased energy demand, such as recovering from extensive surgery and intensive care and situations in which augmented energy expenditure (e.g., obesity) is important. This collaboration with Selcia will allow us to accelerate the discovery and development of new mitochondrial medicines and drug-like compounds within the scope of our current R&D budget in the discovery phase”.

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