TORONTO, Aug. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - ProMIS Neurosciences ("ProMIS" or the "Company"), a company focused on the discovery and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today reported highlights from the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) meeting, held in Toronto, Canada, from July 23 to 28, 2016.
Numerous sessions and posters emphasized that the toxic subspecies of Amyloid beta (Aβ) and Tau oligomers are at the root cause of AD, however developing drugs that could selectively target these toxic variants is problematic. Commenting on this challenge, Executive Chairman, Eugene Williams said, "Our proprietary drug discovery technologies, including Collective Coordinates, are a significant competitive advantage as they allow us to identify novel epitope targets on the toxic prion forms of Aβ. Moreover, scientific analysis presented on a poster about Biogen's Aducanumab provides confirmatory evidence that our target product profile of selectively binding the prion rather than the monomer is critical to developing effective AD therapeutics."
Highlights of the meeting included:
The Amyloid-Tau Relationship in the Pathophysiology of Alzheimer's Disease ("AD")
This Continuing Medical Education session underlined three key points of consensus offered by a distinguished panel of experts:
- a subset of Aβ oligomers is toxic to neurons (the "prion" forms);
- there is a large, growing body of evidence demonstrating that Aβ prions trigger the spread and toxicity of Tau in AD; and
- insoluble Amyloid cores (plaque) are largely inactive, but can play a positive role in sequestering (trapping) toxic oligomers (prions).
Commenting on this session, Williams, stated: "This session provided a strong, supportive rationale for our target product profile of binding selectively to the prion form, and not to monomer, nor plaque. Plaque binding may lead to release of the sequestered toxic oligomers which can damage neuronal connections, and furthermore, is correlated with neurovascular edema, a serious side effect seen in both Biogen's Aducanumab and J&J/Pfizer's Bapineuzumab clinical trial programs."
ProMIS Poster Presentations
As shown in the poster presentation by Chief Physics Officer, Dr. Steven Plotkin, ProMIS' proprietary technologies precisely specify epitope targets – identifying both the target's amino acid sequence and its conformation or "shape". These technologies therefore support two important attributes:
- the target is immunogenic, against which a targeted antibody therapy can be developed; and
- the antibody is highly selective for the toxic oligomer or prion, not the monomer nor plaque (fibrils).
The poster presented by Dr. Judith Silverman, whose work was conducted in CSO Neil Cashman's lab, showed that the novel epitope targets identified by ProMIS were highly immunogenic and, subsequent to screening tests, many of the antibodies against these targets had the desired selective binding characteristics. ProMIS will be confirming the desired profile for its best product candidates in cadaveric brain tissue from AD patients, and selecting antibody therapeutics demonstrating no binding to plaque.
Biogen's Poster Analyzing the Epitope and Binding Profile of Aducanumab
Biogen's Aducanumab represents an important and positive step forward in developing treatments for AD. Using structural analytic methods to understand the epitope targeted by Aducanumab and its binding profile relative to other therapies that showed less efficacy, Biogen concluded that Aducanumab was highly selective for "aggregated forms of beta-amyloid, including soluble oligomer and insoluble fibrils", and that non-binding to monomer was critical.
To access the full report by Executive Chairman Eugene Williams, please click on the following link:
About ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc.
The mission of ProMIS Neurosciences is to discover and develop precision medicine therapeutics for effective treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease and ALS.
ProMIS Neurosciences' proprietary target discovery engine is based on the use of two, complementary techniques. The Company applies its thermodynamic, computational discovery platforms—ProMIS™ and Collective Coordinates — 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 also developed two proprietary technologies to specifically identify very low levels of misfolded proteins in a biological sample. In addition, ProMIS Neurosciences owns a portfolio of therapeutic and diagnostic patents relating to misfolded SOD1 in ALS, and currently has three preclinical monoclonal antibody therapeutics against this target.
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The information in this release may contain certain forward-looking information. Such information 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 as well as other factors. 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.
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