Canada’s Domain Therapeutics has created new company Mavalon Therapeutics to halt the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Life sciences-focused venture capital company Medicxi Ventures has agreed to invest up to $10 million in the new company.
Biotech companies and clinicians over the past two decades have tried to develop a cure for this disease based on Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a naturally occurring factor promoting the growth of dopamine neurons.
The newly formed company Mavalon Therapeutics is developing the first orally available small molecule able to induce GDNF production within the brain of patients with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic and progressive neurological disorder characterised by various symptoms.
The symptoms are tremors, limb stiffness, slowness of movements and difficulties with posture and balance.
Domain Therapeutics initially discovered and developed the drug candidate, a positive allosteric modulator of the metabotropic glutamate receptor type 3 (mGluR3 PAM) with the support of the Michael Fox Foundation.
An mGluR4 PAM is ready to enter Phase II at Prexton Therapeutics, while a dual adenosine A2A/A1 receptor antagonist is in preclinical development at Kaldi Pharma.
Both treatments are expected to address Parkinson’s symptoms, while Mavalon’s drug is aimed at stopping the progression of the disease.
Medicxi Ventures partner Michèle Ollier said: “Mavalon’s asset clearly fits with Medicxi’s investment strategy supporting biopharma companies at the forefront of innovation.
“The mGluR3 PAM-mediated GDNF induction certainly represents a very promising approach with strong market potential.”