TORONTO, Ontario and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—August 27, 2019—ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. (TSX: PMN) (OTCQB: ARFXF), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics targeting toxic oligomers implicated in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, has added Dr. Andre Strydom to its scientific advisory board (SAB). Dr. Strydom is a world-recognized expert in ageing-related issues in Down syndrome and his research has advanced understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in Down syndrome patients. His expertise and advocacy will help guide ProMIS development plans relating to treatment of AD in Down syndrome.
“Dr. Strydom’s research has been incredibly valuable to our collective understanding of how Alzheimer’s disease begins and progresses,” said Eugene Williams, Executive Chairman of ProMIS Neurosciences. “We’re honored to welcome him to our SAB, which we believe is a collection of some of the most accomplished researchers in neurodegenerative diseases and believe his expertise will help us include this very special patient population in our clinical studies, expediting and improving study quality.”
Born with an extra copy of chromosome 21 which carries the gene for the amyloid precursor protein, Down syndrome patients show significantly increased amyloid in the brain and are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s early in their lifetime. Dr. Strydom has dedicated his research and academic career to advancing our body of knowledge in support of efforts to develop effective therapies for AD in Down syndrome. He is a professor in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and Honorary Consultant psychiatrist, South London and the Maudsley NHS Trust. His current projects and collaborations include the LonDownS consortium, funded by the Wellcome Trust/ MRC, to study the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease in Down syndrome. This work concerns detailed cognitive assessment of individuals with Down syndrome across their lifespan to track changes with ageing, as well as collecting DNA, blood and cellular samples for genetic and experimental studies to understand the underlying factors that may influence variation in age of onset of symptoms. His research in Down syndrome includes investigation of biomarkers of cognitive decline including those related to excess amyloid production, oxidative stress, and neurodegeneration. His group also conducts neuroimaging studies using high-density EEG, MRI and fNIRS. He has been an investigator on clinical trials of new drug treatment options in Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome and autism.
“The combination of new biomarkers, improved disease understanding and potential medicines that are highly selective for the toxic, misfolded form of amyloid beta make this an incredibly exciting time in Alzheimer’s disease therapy development,” said Professor Andre Strydom. “I’m extremely pleased to join ProMIS’ SAB and look forward to collaborating with this group of highly accomplished leaders as we take aim at these diseases that remain without effective therapies.”
ProMIS’ SAB members are highly published and cited contributors to current scientific understanding of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, ALS, other neurodegenerative diseases and protein misfolding diseases in general. Current members include:
- Neil R. Cashman, M.D is Chief Science Officer at ProMIS Neurosciences and Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding Diseases and serves as the Director of the UBC ALS Centre. Dr. Cashman is recognized as a pioneer in the field of prion-like misfolded proteins and their role in development of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular ALS and AD. Neil Cashman is co-chair of the SAB;
- Sharon Cohen, M.D is a trained behavioral neurologist and former speech language pathologist. Her memory clinic and dementia clinical trials program at the Toronto Memory Programme are the largest and most active in Canada and have contributed substantially to patient care and to global clinical trial cohorts. Through her commitment to knowledge translation and her passion for clinically meaningful outcomes, Dr. Cohen provides a valuable perspective which places the patient at the center of Alzheimer’s drug development programs.
- Todd E. Golde, M.D, Ph.D is Director of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease at the University of Florida where he directs a robust program of scientific discovery aimed at translating basic discoveries in neurodegenerative disease into diagnostics and treatments for patients. Dr. Golde is co-chair of the SAB;
- William C. Mobley, M.D, Ph.D is Associate Dean for Neurosciences Initiatives, Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences, Florence Riford Chair for Alzheimer Disease at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and the university’s Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment. Dr. Mobley’s research focuses on the neurobiology of neuronal dysfunction in developmental and age-related disorders of the nervous system.
- C. Warren Olanow, M.D. is the past Henry P. and Georgette Goldschmidt Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and present Professor Emeritus in the Department of Neurology and in the Department of Neuroscience.
- Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD., is a neuroscientist and geneticist with scientific expertise in Alzheimer’s disease and brain health. He serves as Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, and as a Director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
- Lary C. Walker, Ph.D is Associate Professor of Neurology and Research Professor at Emory University Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Dr. Walker’s research has been directed toward understanding the mechanisms by which the Alzheimer-associated proteins amyloid beta and tau form pathogenic assemblies in vivo and how these agents spread in the brain;
Selectively targeting the toxic oligomer for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
Misfolded proteins are a known root cause of neurodegenerative diseases. When proteins misfold, they may form toxic oligomers that are deadly to neurons and spread (propagate) through the brain leading to disease. Using its novel drug discovery engine, ProMIS can uniquely and selectively target the toxic oligomer, filling a critical gap for drug developers: traditional approaches to developing antibodies are unable to isolate and target the toxic oligomer with adequate precision. The company’s Alzheimer’s disease program includes two antibody candidates that offer dual targeting of the toxic oligomers of tau and amyloid beta, currently one of the most promising areas of therapy development in Alzheimer’s disease. ProMIS’ Parkinson’s disease program includes several potential antibody therapeutic candidates aimed at selectively targeting misfolded, toxic oligomers of the protein α-synuclein, considered a root cause of PD. ProMIS has also identified antibody candidates that selectively target toxic oligomers of the protein TDP43, considered a root cause of ALS.
About ProMIS Neurosciences
ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. is a development stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing antibody therapeutics selectively targeting toxic oligomers implicated in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Company’s proprietary target discovery platform is based on the use of two complementary thermodynamic, computational discovery engines -ProMIS and Collective Coordinates – to predict novel targets known as Disease Specific Epitopes on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Using this unique precision approach, the Company is developing novel antibody therapeutics for AD, ALS and PD. ProMIS is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ProMIS is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PMN, and on the OTCQB Venture Market under the symbol ARFXF.
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