Amorfix Research and Development Programs Leading the Way for New Therapeutics For ALS
TORONTO, Ontario – November 07, 2012 – Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. announced today that anti-SOD1 antibodies developed by the company are being used by a leading academic scientist, Dr. Serge Przedborski at Columbia University, to investigate the pathogenesis and mechanisms of disease progression in ALS. This research is in addition to and complements the ongoing development of antibodies against misfolded SOD1 through a licensing agreement with Biogen-Idec.
"This collaboration is designed to help answer key questions about the pivotal role of misfolded SOD1 in ALS” said Amorfix Chief Scientific Officer and Company founder Dr. Neil Cashman. "Understanding the disease from a mechanistic perspective will greatly facilitate the development of new treatments that can effectively treat ALS patients and hopefully prevent further decline in neurological function".
Dr. Przedborski will be utilizing anti-SOD1 antibodies developed by Amorfix to investigate toxic effects of misfolded SOD1 on motor neurons, the cells that degenerate in ALS. The project seeks to understand which cells in the nervous system generate toxic misfolded SOD1, and ultimately to use the anti-SOD1 antibodies to block this toxicity to protect motor neurons.
"There is increasing recognition that non-neuronal cells contribute to the death of neuronal cells in a disease such as ALS, yet, how non-neuronal cells actually kill neuronal cells remains enigmatic," said Dr. Przedborski. "I believe that with the anti-SOD1 antibodies developed by Amorfix, we are now in a position to address one of the key outstanding questions about the biology of ALS which is whether or not misfolded SOD1 is instrumental in the deleterious process.”
The proprietary antibodies were developed by Amorfix and validated by the ProMIS discovery platform, and have been licensed to Biogen-Idec for the development of antibody therapeutics, and to Pan Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT) for the development of vaccine applications. Both of these programs are advancing in preclinical development. In addition, the Company is developing a blood test to be used as a diagnostic tool for the early detection of ALS, based on the detection of misfolded SOD1 in plasma.
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF) is an early-stage product development company developing therapeutic antibodies and diagnostics targeting misfolded protein diseases. Amorfix utilizes its computational discovery platform, ProMIS™, to predict novel Disease Specific Epitopes (DSEs) on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Using this technology, Amorfix is developing novel antibody therapeutics and companion diagnostics for cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition, Amorfix has developed two proprietary technologies to specifically identify very low levels of misfolded proteins in a biological sample: Epitope Protection™ and AMFIA™, an ultra-sensitive dual-bead immunoassay. Use of these technologies has generated a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) screening test for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and an ultrasensitive method for detecting the hallmark of AD, aggregated beta-Amyloid, in brain tissue, CSF and blood from animal models of AD. For more information about Amorfix, visit www.amorfix.com.
The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release contains certain forward-looking information, which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by statements herein, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to it, such as the commitments of potential subscribers that are not binding legal obligations, as well as other factors, that are subject to change. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by the Company in its public securities filings, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by law.
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ProMIS™, Epitope Protection™ and AMFIA™ are trademarks of Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.