French pharmaceutical firm Servier has formed a strategic research alliance with US-based pharmaceutical company Treventis for misfolded proteins related to neurodegenerative diseases.

The drug discovery programme will focus on targeting the tau and amyloïde-β (Aβ) proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Through the partnership, the firms aim to offer a drug to reduce functional decline by slowing the pathology progression through a disease-modifying mechanism.

The firms will use Treventis’s Common Conformational Morphology (CCM) platform technology to identify and co-develop compounds that will inhibit formation of tau and Ab oligomer.

They also plan to develop and validate translational biomarkers to support preclinical programme, as well as to characterise and select patient populations, and track disease progression in the clinic.

“We very much hope that this new collaboration will allow us to answer the huge unmet patient need for disease-modifying treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The co-development will be carried out until selection of a Phase I candidate, while Servier is set to sponsor the research costs and will hold exclusive worldwide rights for the development and commercialisation of any selected compounds.

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Servier Center of Therapeutic Innovation in neuropsychiatry director Christian de Bodinat said: “We very much hope that this new collaboration will allow us to answer the huge unmet patient need for disease-modifying treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to Treventis’ unique and innovative technology.

“We are very excited to be part of one of the first programmes employing a dual approach in this field.”

Based on epitope commonality between multiple misfolded amyloid proteins, scientists at Treventis identified a common binding site and created the CCM methodology to build models of early protein misfolding stages.

Use of CCM for in-silico screening is said to enable identification and optimisation of various classes of potent drug-like compounds, allowing structure-based design for anti-amyloid drug discovery.