U.K.-based Cypralis has been awarded $524,000 by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). The firm said the award will support its existing neurodegenerative disease therapeutics partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Janssen and Cypralis are collaborating on the development of selective, central nervous system (CNS)-penetrating cyclophilin D inhibitors against neurodegenerative diseases. Cypralis will use the ADDF funding to extend its medicinal chemistry capabilities and broaden its cyclophilin inhibitor library.

“The ADDF funding opens an exciting pathway toward developing a novel class of cyclophilin D inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s,” commented Cypralis CSO Michael Peel, Ph.D. “If data from the ADDF funding is encouraging, Cypralis would expect to initiate a lead optimization campaign in early 2018 with the goal of generating a novel preclinical candidate for this extremely challenging and devastating disease.”

Cypralis was established as a spinout from U.K.-based Selcia in 2013. The firm is developing nonimmunosuppressive peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) inhibitors for a range of potential therapeutic indications. Cypralis has ongoing collaborations with Gilead Sciences and with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The partnership with Gilead follows on from Selcia’s original drug discovery collaboration with Gilead, through which the firms developed preclinical candidates and IP in the field of liver diseases.

Cypralis’s collaboration with Janssen was initiated in December 2015. In January 2017, Cypralis won an undisclosed amount of funding from Innovate UK to support the development of cyclophilin D inhibitors targeting degenerative disorders.

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