ROAD TO THE CURE UPDATE FEBRUARY 2013Category: Road to the Cure
We are even more encouraged by the activities at the SDBC with the production buildup for attacking the Parkinson’s protein of LRRK2. In the June newsletter we discussed the building blocks the SDBC goes through, analogizing the process to building a house. In that newsletter the LRRK2 process had begun. LRRK 2 (Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2), also known as dardarin (from the Basque word “dardara” which means trembling), is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the PARK8 gene. LRRK2 is a member of the leucine-rich repeat kinase family. Variants of this gene are associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease and also Crohn’s disease.
i. LRRK2 Project
The San Diego Biotech Company (SDBC) has begun to generate picobodies for LRRK2 protein, which has strong ties to neurodegenerative Parkinson’s disease. LRRK2 is a very big protein and very difficult to clone, express and purify. Consequently, this protein is enormously expensive at a price of about $300 per 10 ug. The Company needs about 20 mg of LRRK2 protein to generate affinity column to isolate and purify LRRK2 picobody. The Company is trying to arrange resources to acquire 20 mg of LRRK2 protein, which will cost in excess of $100K after volume discount.
ii. Transgenic Mice
Lack of availability of transgenic mice to “For Profit” organizations is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to conduct research related to neurosciences. However, slowly but surely, the Company is overcoming some of the hurdles. For example, the Company recently licensed a-synuclein transgenic mice from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. It also licensed APP transgenic mice for its Alzheimer’s project from McGill University, Canada. These transgenic mice will be shipped from their locations to SDBC within the next two weeks. Upon arrival, these mice will be housed in a vivarium, which the Company has already leased. The Company will start breeding its own transgenic mice and hopes to generate enough of them within 5-6 months to carry out its collaboration with:
Van Andel Research Institute, Michigan UCLA UCSD The search for licensing LRRK2 and Tau mice is also on. The Company feels that self-sufficiency is a must for normal and uninterrupted operations. The Company is currently in search of two experienced research scientists (BS/MS) to bring them on board full-time to assist with in-vivo pharmacokinetics and biodistribution studies.
SDBC has purchased and received a much needed Fluorescence Microscope for its tissue histology work. Thanks to its generous investors who made the cash purchase possible of this very expensive equipment.
If you would like to be a part of this cutting-edge and state-of-the-art science, please get in touch with Jo Rosen who will delightedly introduce you to the right parties for making possible your investment into this history making endeavor. The only impediment to getting to the human side of this science is funding. The sooner the funds are raised the sooner we can be at human clinical trials.