Eisai and Galenea have teamed up on a collaboration focused on the development of synaptic modulators for treating neurodegenerative diseases. The partnership is centered on a single target in neurodegeneration, and will exploit Galenea’s platform for identifying disease-related alterations in synaptic transmission and discovering compounds that restore normal synaptic function.

Galenea’s platform hinges on its multiwell automated neurotransmission assay (Mantra™) system for the high-throughput characterization of synaptic transmission in primary neurons and neurons derived from human stem cells. The Mantra system has been developed as a functional screening technology that can directly identify modulators of synaptic transmission. The platform is based on high-throughput instrumentation that controls electrical activity in live neurons and simultaneously captures data from fluorescent reporters of synaptic function. Multiple aspects of synaptic transmission are measured using either normal or diseased neurons, and the effects of compounds monitored.

The firm is combining its Mantra platform with a system for integrating measures of brain activity and behavior to predict efficacy of drug compounds derived from Mantra, and technology for translating rodent-derived data into disease-related EEG signatures in humans, for use as biomarkers in clinical development.

Galenea has an ongoing multiyear collaboration with the CHDI foundation focused on synaptic dysfunction in Huntington disease (HD). The partnership is exploiting the firm’s synaptic transmission platform to define and address synaptic and network alterations in Huntington disease, with a view to identifying and developing drugs that restore synaptic and network activity.

Galenea is also working with the Stanley Medical Research Institute to develop a class of procognitive, synaptic modulators for schizophrenia. The ultimate aim is to develop a first-in-class antipsychotic therapy together with an associated EEG biomarker to guide clinical development. The program is funded in part by the Stanley Medical Research Institute and through a grant from the NIMH. 

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