Agreement grants exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize intellectual property rights belonging to UBC
TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2015 /CNW/ - ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. (TSX: PMN), announced today that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement to develop and commercialize intellectual property rights belonging to The University of British Columbia (UBC). This agreement significantly expands upon the original agreement from February 2009, and affords exclusive worldwide rights to intellectual property based on use of the ProMISTM technology, modifications and enhancements to ProMISTM, as well as eventual new technologies under development. Terms and conditions of the agreement were not disclosed.
There has been a developing consensus in the neuroscience community that propagating, misfolded proteins (for example, prions) are fundamental drivers of multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and Parkinson's disease. At the recent ANA annual meeting held in Chicago, speakers at the President's Symposium on Sept. 29th, including Dr. Neil Cashman, Professor at UBC and Chief Science Officer at ProMIS Neurosciences, confirmed this consensus. This increased understanding raises the prospect for developing a new class of breakthrough therapies targeting misfolded, neurotoxic forms of beta amyloid and tau protein in AD, and SOD1 and TDP-43 in ALS.
Over the past decade, Dr. Neil Cashman has been conducting ground breaking research in the field of misfolded proteins in multiple disease areas, including infectious prion disease (CJD), certain cancers, and importantly, in the neurodegenerative diseases ALS and AD. Dr. Steven Plotkin, Associate Professor at UBC and recently announced Chief Physics Officer at ProMIS, has joined forces with Neil Cashman to continue to enhance the original ProMISTM technology, as well as develop new, complementary tools to identify specific epitopes (binding sites) on misfolded, toxic strains of beta amyloid and tau in Alzheimer's. Subsequent to identification of such epitope(s), ProMIS' plan is to initiate development of antibodies to bind to the newly identified epitope, allowing creation of a monoclonal antibody-based therapeutic and companion diagnostic that are specific for each misfolded strain of beta amyloid or tau.
"ProMIS Neurosciences is extremely fortunate to have Cashman and Plotkin working together to address the significant unmet need in neurodegenerative diseases like AD and ALS", said Dr. Elliot Goldstein, President and CEO. "Their complementary research and development efforts at UBC hold great promise for the identification of target binding sites on specific strains of misfolded beta amyloid and tau in AD. From this foundation, ProMIS anticipates continuing its leadership role to create precision medicine solutions based on strain specific therapeutics and companion diagnostics in Alzheimer's."
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. J.P. Heale, Managing Director of UBC's University-Industry Liaison Office, stated: "We are extremely pleased to enter into this exclusive license with ProMIS Neurosciences, where the computational understanding of protein folding demonstrated by Dr. Plotkin, paired with Dr. Cashman's knowledge of the role of misfolded proteins in disease, create a unique set of potential targets and therapies that will be proven out in collaboration with ProMIS Neurosciences".
About Dr. Neil Cashman
Dr. Cashman is a neurologist and scientist focused on neurodegenerative diseases. Professor Cashman is currently in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding Diseases, and serves as the Director of the UBC ALS Centre. He was awarded the Jonas Salk Prize for biomedical research in 2000, and was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2008. He is recognized worldwide as one of the leading research scientists pioneering the emerging fields of prion biology and protein misfolding diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
About Dr. Steven Plotkin
Dr. Plotkin is a theoretical and computational biophysicist whose research focuses on protein misfolding in neurodegenerative disease, protein evolution, cellular differentiation and the molecular mechanisms of cancer. A tenured Associate Professor at UBC, he has been on the faculty there since 2001. At UBC, Dr. Plotkin is a valued faculty member of the Physics, Bioinformatics, Genome Sciences and Technology, and Applied Mathematics Programs. Dr. Plotkin is recognized internationally for his fundamental contributions to the energy landscape theory of protein folding. He is considered a preeminent scientist in the multi-faceted field of protein folding and is an authority on the role of thermodynamics in governing protein misfolding.
About ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc.
The mission of ProMIS Neurosciences is to discover and develop precision medicine solutions for the early detection and effective treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease and ALS.
ProMIS uses its computational discovery platform—ProMISTM--to predict novel targets known as Disease Specific Epitopes (DSEs) on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Using this unique "precision medicine" approach, ProMIS Neurosciences is developing novel antibody therapeutics and specific companion diagnostics for Alzheimer's disease and ALS. The company has developed two proprietary technologies to specifically identify very low levels of misfolded proteins in a biological sample. In addition, ProMIS Neurosciences owns the exclusive rights to the genus patent relating to misfolded SOD1 in ALS, and currently has a preclinical monoclonal antibody therapeutic against this target.
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SOURCE ProMIS Neurosciences Inc.
For further information: please consult the Company's website at: www.promisneurosciences.com, or contact Dr. Elliot Goldstein, President and Chief Executive Officer, ProMIS Neuroscience, Tel. 415 341-5783, firstname.lastname@example.org