NeuroVive Pharmaceutical and to-BBB are combining technologies to develop therapies for stroke and other acute neurodegenerative diseases. NeuroVive’s drug candidates will be coupled with to-BBB’s drug delivery system, G-Technology®, which has been designed to mediate safe targeting and enhance delivery of drugs to the brain.
NeuroVive’s investigational compounds are nerve-cell protecting and regenerative cyclosporine-based pharmaceuticals. They are being developed for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other neurological diseases. The company’s lead candidate, NeuroSTAT®, is a cremophor-free, cyclosporin-A lipid emulsion and is ready to begin clinical trials.
Under its collaboration with to-BBB, NeuroVive will fund initial development of drug candidates up to preclinical proof of concept. After that the two companies have agreed to develop and commercialize products jointly.
to-BBB’s platform utilizes an endogenous receptor-targeted mechanism in combination with nanosized drug-loaded liposomes. This approach does not require drug modification and at the same time gives rise to metabolic protection during transport and increased bioavailability at the target site, according to the company.
The G-Technology stands for liposomes coated with glutathione-conjugated PEG. Intravenous injections of PEGylated liposomes like Doxil are already on the market, and high dosages of glutathione are also being used as supportive therapy for cancer. Glutathione, a natural antioxidant, is found at high levels in the brain, and its receptor is abundantly expressed at the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, glutathione minimizes common risks like adverse immunological reactions or interference with life-essential physiological pathways, to-BBB points out.
“The collaboration with to-BBB opens up the possibility of treating brain disorders beyond TBI,” says Eskil Elmér, M.D., CSO of NeuroVive. “There is a tremendous unmet medical need in treating patients with acute neurodegeneration such as stroke, cardiac arrest-induced brain damage, and spinal cord injuries, where one can expect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to significantly prevent drug penetration to the central nervous system (CNS).”
Mikael Brönnegård, CEO of NeuroVive, points out, “Currently there are no approved pharmacological or cellular primary neuroprotective treatments for stroke and spinal cord injuries. Consequently, the need to develop treatment for acute degenerative disorders has never been greater than it is today.”
Pieter Gaillard, CSO of to-BBB, adds, “The BBB is indeed a significant obstacle in the treatment of CNS disorders. to-BBB's proprietary G-Technology can safely enhance drug delivery to the brain, and we are excited to address this with NeuroVive’s cyclosporin-based pharmaceuticals.”