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Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, leading to progressive impairment of voluntary movement. Its causes are unknown but could include factors related to age, environment and genetics.
For almost half a century treatment has focused on supplementing the supply of dopamine to the brain, the most commonly used drugs being Sinemet (carbidopa/levodopa) and Madopar (benserazide/levodopa). In addition, MAO-B and COMT inhibitors are prescribed to inhibit the enzymes responsible for dopamine deterioration, with limited efficacy.
For several years now, Oncodesign has been investing in the development of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors using its Nanocyclix® technology, which is currently in the advanced optimization phase. Thus, these inhibitors are the result of a collaboration with Ipsen from 2012 to 2017, which significantly advanced the research program.
In 2017, following a strategic change at Ipsen, all program rights were obtained by Oncodesign. The LRRK2 program has become one of Oncodesign’s main priorities; it is led by the scientific team from the former GSK research site in Paris, which joined Oncodesign at the end of 2016. At this stage of development, the molecules display good oral bioavailability and are brain-penetrant. Oncodesign has shown that the molecules are reaching the LRRK2 target in the brain without side effects at effective dosages. We expect a drug candidate in 2022.
Initiated in March 2019, the Research and Development collaboration between Oncodesign and les Laboratoires Servier focuses on the discovery of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors from the Nanocyclix® platform, and their action as potential therapeutic agents against Parkinson’s disease.
It draws on the complementary expertise of Servier and Oncodesign in neurodegenerative diseases and kinase inhibitors.
In June 2021, Oncodesign and Les Laboratoires Servier announced the selection of a preclinical drug candidate. This is a crucial additional step in the development of a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
During this year 2022, Servier is likely to start the clinical trial of this drug candidate.
Jan Hoflack, Ph.D, Scientific Director – Oncodesign
“The selection of this drug candidate is a major step that illustrates the constructive nature of the collaboration initiated with Servier. We are very pleased with the rapid progress we have made together and look forward to continuing success over the coming years to reach our common goal of bringing a new treatment for patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.”