I2-IR ligands New compounds to treat neurodegenerative disorders

  • Edition: 2018
  • Research center: Fundació Bosch i Gimpera, Universitat de Barcelona
  • Scientific Area: Pharmacology
  • Business area: Therapeutic
  • Status: In development
  • Contact: cescolano@ub.edu

Neurodegenerative diseases are an increasing burden for the health systems and the society because no truly effective pharmacological treatments are available, mainly as a result of inappropriateness of the molecular targets. Imidazoline I2 receptors (I2-IR) are altered in the brain of patients with cognitive deficits. Our asset is a patented new family of potent and selective I2-IR ligands. Our lead compound demonstrated in vivo efficacy improving the cognitive impairment in two mouse models of neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.

Goals

  • Move forward our lead candidate in the pre-clinical studies for being the first I2-IR ligand to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

Problem to Solve

Neurodegenerative diseases are becoming increasingly common as the population ages. It is estimated that by 2050, the number of people over 60 years old will account for 22% of the world’s population. The rise in the number of people suffering from cognitive impairment will place a significantly higher demand on healthcare systems, becoming a serious challenge to our society.

Unfortunately, cognitive disorder treatments are scarce and have a limited effect. Despite intense research efforts in the field, no new cognition-enhancing drugs have reached the market in the last decade.

Innovation

We propose a new therapeutic target, I2-IR that is altered in the brain of patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Several I2-IR ligands have been used as pharmacological tools, and in studies related with analgesia. Our asset has good prospects to move forward preclinical phases being the first I2-IR ligand for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

Level of Innovation

A patented new family of potent and selective I2-IR ligands with a demonstrated in vivo effect on improving cognitive abilities in two murine models.

Team

Project leader, associate professor

Carmen Escolano Mirón

Fundació Bosch i Gimpera / Universitat de Barcelona

PhD student

Sergio Rodríguez-Arévalo

UB - Universitat de Barcelona

Professor in Pharmacology

Mercè Pallàs

Fundació Bosch i Gimpera / Universitat de Barcelona

Postdoctoral researcher

Christian Griñán

Fundació Bosch i Gimpera / Universitat de Barcelona

Contracted professor

Julia García-Fuster

Universitat de les Illes Balears

Full professor (emeritus)

Jesús García-Sevilla

Universitat de les Illes Balears

Associate professor

Luis F. Callado Hernando

Universidad del País Vasco

Head of valorisation and licensing unit

Inma Iñiguez Izquierdo

Fundació Bosch i Gimpera / Universitat de Barcelona

Undergraduate student

Andrea Bagán Polonio

UB - Universitat de Barcelona

PhD student

Fotini Vasilopoulou

UB - Universitat de Barcelona

Mentor

Director

Andrés G. Fernández

Ferrer Advanced Biotherapeutics

Partners

Obra social “la Caixa”
Caixa Capital Risc