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GEN News Highlights : Apr 17, 2012

To-BBB Wins MJFF Funding to Support Preclinical Brain-Targeting Parkinson Disease Drug

2B3-201 comprises a long-acting, liposomal formulation of methylprednisolone.

Dutch brain drug delivery firm to-BBB says it has received funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) to support preclinical research with 2B3-201, a brain-targeting drug in development for the treatment of neuroinflammation in Parkinson disease (PD). The drug is a brain-targeting, long-acting liposomal formulation of methylprednisolone.

The firm claims that in contrast to unformulated methylprednisolone, 2B3-201 achieves significantly improved levels of neuroinflammation in preclinical models, and higher brain penetration at lower doses, causing fewer side effects. “Neuroinflammation may play a central role in the progression of Parkinson disease,” explains Audrey Dufour, Ph.D., associate director of research programs at MJFF. “to-BBB has developed an innovative technology to delivery methylprednisolone, an anti-inflammatory drug, into the brain. If results are positive, it could open new avenues for the development and testing of novel therapies for people with PD.”

To-BBB is exploiting its G-Technology® brain drug delivery platform for the development of treatments against brain-affecting disorders including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and lysosomal storage disorders. The platform comprises drug-carrying liposomes coated with glutathione-conjugated PEG, to facilitate safe targeting and enhanced delivery of therapeutic molecules across the blood brain barrier. The firm says the system can transport a range of small molecule and biologic candidates including hydrophilic, lipophilic, and low solubility drugs.

To-BBB’s lead product, 2B3-101, is a brain-targeting liposomal doxorubicin candidate currently in Phase I/IIa evaluation as a treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors.