Rodin Therapeutics and Amsterdam Neuroscience of Amsterdam UMC announced the launch of two clinical trials; the first which has started meanwhile will assess the performance of a new PET ligand that can measure synaptic density in the living brain; the outcome of this first trial should provide insights to guide Rodin’s upcoming Phase 1b trial which will also be executed in the Netherlands and which is aimed to test a novel therapeutic compound designed to strengthen and increase the number of synapses in patients with neurologic diseases. Prof. Arjen Brussaard, scientific director of Amsterdam Neuroscience in collaboration with Pieter van Bokhoven, PhD and Business Development Director, over the last six months pioneered this collaboration in communication with several stakeholders in and outside the Amsterdam UMC.
The neuroimaging trial uses a novel radioligand [11C]UCB-J, which uniquely binds to SV2A, a protein uniquely expressed in synapses. Participants in the first trial include both healthy volunteers and patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and will have brain PET scans performed following administration of [11C]UCB-J. Participants in the second trial will include mild-to-moderate AD patients only.
“Most neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are associated with deteriorating synapses — but until now, physicians and researchers have not been able to measure synaptic density in a living patient. This PET scan should allow us to visualize brain synaptic density in patients and possibly track their response to therapies over time,” said J. Michael Ryan, M.D., Rodin’s chief medical officer.
The study is being conducted in the Netherlands at Vrije Universiteit Medical Center in Amsterdam and University Medical Center Groningen. Philip Scheltens, M.D., Ph.D., who is one of the leading neurologists and who directs the Alzheimer’s Center in Amsterdam is overseeing the trial. “This tool has the potential to shape future clinical trials by offering an early signal about whether an investigational drug is driving molecular and structural changes in the brain,” Dr. Scheltens said. “We can then take the next step and assess whether those changes lead to functional and cognitive improvements in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.”
About Rodin Therapeutics
Rodin Therapeutics is discovering and developing first-in-class therapeutics for synaptopathies by applying novel chemical strategies to target specific HDAC complexes and upregulate genes critical to learning and memory. Rodin’s targeted approach to strengthening synaptic integrity, backed by a robust translational strategy, has potential across multiple neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia and schizophrenia, all of which are characterized by impaired neuronal and synaptic function. For more information, visit https://rodintherapeutics.com/.
About the Industry Alliance Office of Amsterdam Neuroscience
The Industry Alliance Office (IAO) – acting on behalf of Amsterdam Neuroscience of Amsterdam – is an embedded IXA business development office, aimed at working with pharma- and biotech-industry to negotiate research collaborations. Originally, Arjen Brussaard, scientific director of Amsterdam Neuroscience launched the IAO as an independent office in 2013; later-on it became professionalized and integrated with IXA Amsterdam. Since its foundation IAO has commercialized the scientific excellence, research assets, access to patient cohorts and material, and infrastructure based on a disease-orientated approach and filled the Amsterdam Neuroscience pipeline, in assisting in the clinical validation of drug concepts and clinical compounds during both early preclinical as well as in advanced clinical stages of development. Both major pharma and midsize biotech companies have commissioned integrated projects via the IAO and in doing so, over €25 million in contracts was generated over the last 5 years.
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