Coya Therapeutics has expanded its patent estate for COYA 301 by entering a licensing agreement with UNeMed, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s technology transfer office.

Coya secured exclusive patent rights and intellectual property rights related to COYA 301 and combinations to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD).

COYA 301 is a low-dose-IL-2 (ld IL-2) formulation for subcutaneous administration.

It is designed to enhance the function of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in vivo to treat the systemic and neuro-inflammation underlying autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.

Findings from the preclinical model, published by scientists from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, showed that ld IL-2 treatment induced overexpression of immunosuppressive Treg cell markers in the treatment-specific Treg population.

This had a potent neuroprotective effect on nigral dopaminergic neurons in affected mice. The nigral dopaminergic neurons’ degeneration is considered the hallmark of PD.

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This suggests that the interventional strategy may lead to sustained suppressive immune responses and neuroprotection in PD.

Coya Therapeutics chief business officer Arun Swaminathan stated: “We believe that Treg dysfunction is the common thread that binds together many neurodegenerative diseases.

“This licence is based on strong preclinical animal data in PD, builds upon the highly promising clinical data observed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease, and expands the optionality that Coya has in strategic partnering discussions to execute on future clinical trials in PD.”

UNeMed will receive payments on reaching milestones and will also be entitled to tiered low-single-digit royalties on net sales.