The NIH, through the Office of the Director and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, awarded Factor Bioscience two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to accelerate the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.

The first project will use Factor’s RiboSlice™ gene-editing technology to generate rodent models of Alzheimer’s. The second project will combine RiboSlice technology with Factor’s integration-free reprogramming and directed-differentiation technologies to generate a library of human neural cells containing defined mutations in Alzheimer’s-associated genes. “We believe that this library has the potential to dramatically accelerate the identification of new Alzheimer’s drug candidates by shifting high-content efficacy testing to an earlier stage of the drug-development process,” explains project leader Christopher Rohde, Ph.D., COO and director of high-throughput technologies.

“Alzheimer’s research has been held back by a lack of good models. These models are the critical missing links needed to understand the fundamental biology of Alzheimer’s and to develop effective treatments,” says Matt Angel, Ph.D., Factor’s CEO. “With the support of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, we will focus these powerful new methods on Alzheimer’s Disease to elucidate and advance new, more effective treatments.”

Earlier this year the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the NIH, developed the International Alzheimer’s Disease Research Portfolio (IADRP), a database designed to enable public and private funders of Alzheimer’s research to coordinate research planning, leverage resources, avoid duplication of funding efforts, and identify new opportunities in promising areas of growth. This resource was developed in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and is currently hosted and maintained by NIA.

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