Apr 1 2010
The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced today that it is providing a grant of $270,000 to Signum Biosciences, Inc. (Princeton, NJ) to evaluate small-molecule, orally delivered Protein Phosphatase 2a (PP2A)-modulatory compounds as disease-modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease.
Signum is developing lipid signal transduction modulators (STMs) for chronic neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases. Signum's STM technology, a promising new approach to Alzheimer's, was licensed from the Princeton University Laboratory of Professor Jeffry Stock, a Signum cofounder and leader in signal transduction research. STMs activate PP2A, a master regulatory protein that, if compromised, can generate signaling imbalances leading to neuronal death and cognitive decline.
The ADDF's award will fund work with rodent Alzheimer's models to expand upon pilot studies and establish STM dosing levels and biomarker endpoints. The research provides critical steps necessary to advance Signum's novel strategy into the clinic.
"Signum is exploring a promising new path towards disease modification," said Howard Fillit, MD, the ADDF's Executive Director. "Moreover, they have an innovative business model that is well aligned with the growing unmet medical need for therapeutics. If Signum's research bears fruit, the near and long-term benefit to the Alzheimer's disease community will be significant."
Dr. Gregory Stock, Signum's CEO, said: "We are honored to be selected for one of ADDF's highly competitive, peer-reviewed grants. The class of STMs we are evaluating pre-clinically has yielded positive pilot results in a transgenic Alzheimer's mouse model. This grant will accelerate the advance of both our pharmaceutical leads and a related small molecule that is a minor constituent of coffee. Various studies have shown that consumption of coffee is correlated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer's, so this coffee component might provide a neuroprotective medical food to serve as a near-term stopgap against the disease."
SOURCE Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation