TORONTO, July 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences, a product development company focused on diagnostics and therapeutics for misfolded protein diseases, today announced that the company has been issued a broad patent covering antibodies that target misfolded SOD1 (mSOD1) for the treatment of ALS. The patent has issued as US 8,778,885.
"Over the years we have built a strong patent portfolio around the use of mSOD1 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of ALS", said Dr. Robert Gundel, Amorfix President and CEO. "Recent scientific evidence suggests that mSOD1 is not only responsible for the onset of ALS but is also a key player in disease progression over time. As such, mSOD1 remains the most promising target for therapeutic intervention in this killer disease. This patent provides very broad patent protection for our existing therapeutic antibody product portfolio and puts Amorfix in a controlling position for commercialization of antibodies that target SOD1. Our plan is to maximize the value of this important new asset while enabling companies interested in developing antibody products for the treatment of ALS."
Misfolded SOD1 and ALS
SOD1 is a protein which is highly expressed in the motor nerve cells which degenerate in ALS. While normally a protector of cells, under certain conditions it can "misfold" – its 3-dimensional structure becomes distorted – and it then becomes toxic for cells, as well as triggering propagated misfolding of normal SOD1. This mechanism of disease onset and progression supports mSOD1 as an attractive target for the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of ALS. Amorfix's antibodies target misfolded SOD1 while sparing the normally folded proteins, and can neutralize the toxicity and block the propagation of misfolded SOD1.
ALS is a common neuromuscular disease, affecting an estimated 350,000 people of all races and ethnic backgrounds worldwide. According to the ALS Association, more than 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS annually and an estimated 30,000 Americans have ALS at any given time.
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 both 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.
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SOURCE: Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
For further information: Dr. Robert Gundel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd., Tel: (416) 847-6957, Fax: (416) 847-6899, firstname.lastname@example.org; Warren Whitehead, Chief Financial Officer, Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd., Tel: (416) 644-7358, Fax: (416) 847-6899, email@example.com