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GEN News Highlights : Feb 9, 2012

Endece, MRF to Progress Myelin Regeneration Candidates into Clinic

MRF’s translational med center will evaluate Endece’s small molecule MS drugs.

The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) and Endece Neural established a partnership to progress the latter’s myelin regeneration drug candidates through preclinical development and into Phase I studies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Endece Neural is the neurological drug development subsidiary of Wisconsin-based Endece. As part of the collaboration, the MRF’s newly established Translational Medicine Center will evaluate the myelin regenerating capabilities of Endece’s small molecule candidates using MS models.

“We approached the Myelin Repair Foundation about joining forces because of their expertise in myelin repair models, in addition to their new in-house capabilities at the MRF Translational Medicine Center,” explains James Yarger, Ph.D., Endece Neural’s president. “Unlike current MS therapies, which target immune response and inflammation to slow relapses, our drug compounds are promising candidates for remyelination, with the potential to restore muscle control and mobility.”

Endece is focused on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs that target receptors controlling metabolic pathways. The firm’s lead preclinical programs are focused on oncology and, through Endece Neural, multiple sclerosis. The latter’s NDC-1022 candidate is a small molecule that modulates estrogen receptor activity primarily by binding and activating ER-β. Endece says the drug is being developed as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as MS, as it leads to significant up-regulation of proteins involved in the process of nerve axon remyelination.