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Jul 16, 2013

Abide, UCSD to Validate Alzheimer's Therapeutic Target with Foundation Grant

  • With a grant from the Cure Alzheimer's Fund, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and Abide Therapeutics are working to validate a therapeutic target for the neurodegenerative disease.

    The UCSD-Abide team hopes to confirm monoacylglycerol lipase—an enzyme in the serine hydrolase family—as a therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s using small molecules from the drug developer’s selective serine hydrolase targeting technology. The size and scope of the foundation grant were not disclosed.

    UCSD’s Alexander Kleschevnikov, Ph.D., and William Mobley, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as co-PIs on the project, supporting early-stage R&D efforts to evaluate a serine hydrolase inhibitor’s ability to delay or prevent disease progression in a mouse model of Down syndrome. Such models “exhibit similar abnormalities in brain structure and cognition observed in people who have Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease and can be used to study both diseases,” Cure Alzheimer’s notes.

    “Serine hydrolases are involved in many human physiological processes and have been implicated and successfully targeted to treat major diseases,” Abide President and CEO Alan Ezekowitz, D.Phil., said in a statement. “However, they still have been largely unexplored as a complete class of drug targets, and we are very interested in interrogating this particular serine hydrolase as a therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease.”

    Added Cure Alzheimer’s President and CEO Tim Armour: “The results of this study will help better fit the pieces of the Alzheimer's puzzle together.”

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