The therapeutics biotech AstronauTx announces a partnership with Concept Life Sciences, Contract Research Organisation, to progress the identification of novel therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. The alliance will focus on identifying small molecule drugs able to modulate astrocyte biology to expand AstronauTx’s pipeline of novel therapeutic candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Concept Life Sciences (CLS) with its headquarters in Alderley Park Cheshire, UK provides customized solutions from discovery to the clinical stage development. CLS brings innovative and advanced solutions to the market through exceptional science and the highest level of customer service. Under the alliance CLS will apply their integrated drug discovery platform alongside the neurodegeneration expertise at AstronauTx to identify a novel candidate therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.
AstronauTx was formed in March 2019 with a £6.5 million investment from the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) and subsequently attracted a further £1 million from the UCL Technology Fund. The partnership with Concept Life Sciences is the second UK-based collaboration that AstronauTx has formed. The founding partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Drug Discovery Institute at UCL started last year and is focused on a different aspect of astrocyte biology. Both partnerships are built on the strong industrial and academic drug discovery expertise of renowned UK scientists.
Dr David Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer of AstronauTx, said: “I am delighted to announce this alliance with Concept Life Sciences as it enables AstronauTx to expand its research portfolio targeting the major support cells in the brain: astrocytes. Astrocytes normally function to keep the brain’s nerve cells working correctly, but in diseases like Alzheimer’s they change and instead become damaging. Our partnership with Concept Life Sciences adds another approach to resetting astrocyte behaviour in disease, which I hope will prove highly effective when we reach clinical trials in the future.”
Dr Mark Carnegie-Brown, President of Concept Life Sciences, commented: “
I am pleased to announce the partnership with AstronauTx which enables our expertise in medicinal chemistry and CNS biology to support the development of a pipeline for new therapeutics targeting astrocytes. We look forward to working as a single team to accelerate the AstronauTx journey.”
No financial details of the agreement were disclosed.
About the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF)
The DDF is a venture capital fund focused on funding the discovery and development of novel disease-modifying therapies for dementia patients, including those with Alzheimer’s disease. Established in 2015, the fund has raised 250 million pounds from an influential group of strategic investors committed to developing urgently needed new treatments that could alter the course of disease and help combat the growing global burden of dementia.
The fund, the first-of-its-kind to combine government, industry, private sector and charity backing, is advised by SV Health Investors with investments from leading pharmaceutical companies (Biogen, Eli Lilly and Co., GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Otsuka (Astex), Pfizer and Takeda), AARP, Aegon, Bill Gates, British Patient Capital, NFL Players Association, Quest Diagnostics, UnitedHealth Group, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care, and the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. www.theddfund.com
About UCL Technology Fund (UCLTF)
The UCL Technology Fund is dedicated to investing in intellectual property commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base. It is managed by AlbionVC in collaboration with UCL Business (UCLB).
The Fund supports UCL in achieving the full potential of innovations that have prospects for outstanding societal and market impact, right through the development journey from initial proof of concept to practical commercial application. www.ucltf.co.uk