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Samsara Therapeutics Parkinson’s drug receives funding boost from The Michael J. Fox Foundation

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Samsara Therapeutics, a biotech committed to harnessing autophagy to prevent disease and increase health span, announced that it has received a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to further its research into a promising Parkinson's disease drug. 

Research shows that Samsara’s autophagy-inducing agent, SAM0021, is able to remove the build-up of alpha-synuclein in cells that can lead to Parkinson’s and restore some of the motor functions affected by the disease. It does this by boosting autophagy, the vital self-cleaning process present in all cells of the body which eliminates waste and harmful toxins that cause disease.

The grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation will enable Samsara Therapeutics to accelerate its research on SAM0021 and provide more concrete evidence of the candidate's capabilities, with the aim of moving it closer to clinical trials.

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“MJFF is a leader in funding therapeutics research to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s. We are proud to fund the work of researchers at Samsara Therapeutics, investigating innovative ways to fulfill the unmet needs of patients,” said Jessica Tome Garcia, Ph.D., Associate Director of Research Programs at MJFF.

Peter Hamley PhD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer at Samsara Therapeutics, said: “Our research indicates that alpha-synuclein build-up in Parkinson’s disease results from dysfunctional autophagy. We have very encouraging data, including in cells from people with Parkinson’s disease, that SAM0021 can boost autophagy and strongly believe this will allow us to treat the underlying cause of the disease.” He continued, “This grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation will help us accelerate our research through proof of concept with the aim of moving SAM0021 into clinical trials by the end of 2024.”

Samsara Therapeutics, based in Oxford, UK, and Boston, USA, is THE autophagy company, dedicated completely to harnessing the power of this fundamental biological process to create therapies that reduce the burden of serious age-related disease and extend healthspan. In addition to SAM0021, the company is also developing SAM001, which is currently its most advanced asset now finalizing IND-enabling studies for Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).