SK biopharmaceuticals has signed an agreement to collaborate with the Mayo Clinic for the discovery of new drugs targeting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The first phase of the pre-clinical research collaboration will focus on chemical compounds that target TDP-43, a protein which is thought to be the cause of disease.

SK biopharmaceuticals drug development business vice-president Jeong Woo Cho said that the compounds in development could lso be applicable to other neurodegenerative diseases with similar origins, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

”The company will pursue fast-track development for the compound to meet the urgent need of many patients,” Woo Cho added.