UK-based life sciences company Cypralis has secured funding from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to develop new cyclophilin inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases.
The $524,000 funding will help augment the existing collaboration, which is facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, between Cypralis and Janssen Pharmaceuticals to develop the inhibitors.
Cypralis CSO Dr Michael Peel said: "The ADDF funding opens an exciting pathway towards developing a novel class of cyclophilin D inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
“Many previous publications have recognised the potential for cyclophilin D as a novel target for degenerative disease but no group has published on compounds that combine sub-type selectivity and brain penetration.
“If data from the ADDF funding is encouraging, Cypralis would expect to initiate a lead optimisation campaign in early 2018 with the goal of generating a novel pre-clinical candidate for this extremely challenging and devastating disease."
Cyclophilin inhibitors are non-selective between the four commonly screened cyclophilin isoforms known as A, B, C and D.
At present, a joint research programme is being carried out by Cypralis and Janssen to generate a new class of CNS penetrant, selective inhibitors of cyclophilin D to target degenerative diseases, including CNS degeneration.
With the ADDF funding, Cypralis will be able to extend ‘hit-to-lead’ medicinal chemistry and expand its brain-penetrant cyclophilin inhibitors.
In 2013, Cypralis was spun out from Selcia to exploit its expertise in targeting peptidyl-prolyl isomerases involved in many acute and chronic diseases.