MONTREAL, May 20, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The results of a study conducted by Dr. Alexandre Prat and researchers from the Research Centre of the CHUM (CRCHUM), reported in an article published today in Annals of Neurology, demonstrates the beneficial potential of a molecule called MCAM which, if blocked, can delay the onset of multiple sclerosis and significantly slow down its progression.
Complementary work produced by the biotech Prothena Corporation plc, based in Dublin, Ireland, motivated the establishment of a collaboration between the CHUM Research Centre and the company. Later this summer, Prothena plans to test a new anti-MCAM molecule (the antibody PRX003) within a healthy population. A clinical trial in psoriasis is planned forinitiation in 2016. Beyond psoriasis, anti-MCAM antibodies may be useful for treating a variety of diseases, including progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.
As mentioned by the President and CEO of Univalor, Jacques Simoneau: "We salute this progress which is the result of the combined efforts of Dr. Prat, the CHUM Research Centre and the biotech company Prothena Corporation. As a technology transfer organization, Univalor has played a role of advisor and facilitator between the different stakeholders. We are pleased with the evolution of this partnership and hope for the best for the next steps. "
"We continue to enjoy a very productive collaboration with Univalor and the CHUM Research Centre, and look forward to further developments in the field of MCAM research through our unique partnership," commented Tara Nickerson, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer of Prothena.
Univalor will continue to support the partners in this project in order to help them maximize the benefits of this discovery and to ensure that an MS treatment can be marketed as soon as possible.
Univalor is a university technology transfer organization. Since 2001, it has been commercializing scientific findings and technological innovations emanating from some 2,600 researchers at the Université de Montréal and its affiliated health centres, Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal. The Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et des Exportations (MEIE) helps financing the operations of Gestion Univalor, LP. By creating links between the university and the business community, Univalor helps make businesses more competitive, generate revenue for research and, most importantly, enrich society. For more information: www.univalor.ca
About the study
It has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Society of Multiple Sclerosis and the Research Fund of Quebec - Health (FRSQ). Dr. Alexandre Prat holds the Canada Research Chair in Multiple Sclerosis. For more information, see the summary of the article in Annals of Neurology: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.24415/abstract.
At the CHUM Research Centre, Alexandre Prat, Hania Kebir and Nathalie Arbour were named inventors on patents and patent applications related to MCAM (US8,293,468, US9,017,682, US14/694,328, AU2009212789, CA2676962). At Prothena Corporation plc, Ken Flanagan and Ted Yednock, were also named inventors on a patent application related to the treatments with MCAM antagonists (WO2012170071).
For further information: Ariane Benoit-Oneil 514-340-3243 ext. 4242, or [email protected]