AFFiRiS Begins Development of a Parkinson's Vaccine
News Dec 12, 2008
AFFiRiS, based in Vienna, Austria, has announced the start of the pre-clinical development of its first Parkinson's vaccine PD01. The vaccine will be investigated for efficacy in Parkinson models. On successful conclusion of this preclinical evaluation, initial clinical testing could start in 2010/11.
The Parkinson's vaccine specifically targets the alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) protein, which is considered to be a key contributory element in Parkinson's disease.
Although all details of the disease are not yet fully understood, there is clear scientific evidence that the concentration and enrichment of alpha-syn in the brain are contributing factors in the progression of Parkinson's disease. Therefore, reducing the alpha-syn burden in the brain should have a positive impact on the course of the disease - a hypothesis that was recently confirmed by the results of U.S. researchers working on animal models.
Frank Mattner, Chief Scientific Officer at AFFiRiS, adds: "The great potential offered by our AFFITOME technology has been confirmed by external experts, who appraised our development of a Parkinson's vaccine for the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). Their assessment prompted the FFG to provide considerable financial support for this project."
The AFFITOME technology from AFFiRiS provides a means of targeting very specific structures of human rogue proteins with patented product candidates. AFFiRiS has already succeeded in developing two vaccines and a hemodialysis program for the treatment of Alzheimer's. These therapies only target specific structures found on harmful fragments of beta-amyloid, which is said to be responsible for Alzheimer's.
Both Alzheimer's vaccines are currently being trialled on Alzheimer patients. In October, a licence option agreement worth up to EUR 430 million was concluded with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals for their further clinical development market launch and sales.