ROAD TO THE CURE UPDATE DECEMBER 2012Category: Road to the Cure
This month, the San Diego Biotech Company (SDBC) received some additional data from their collaborator, Dr. E. Masliah, UCSD Department of Neurosciences. This data in essence helps this Company to complete all pieces of a puzzle, which are the pieces to develop a non-invasive diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease. Such a test is needed to diagnose and monitor the effect of therapy on patients. Until now such a technology has almost been non-existent because most drugs do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the central nervous system. Since SDBC is also developing therapeutics for modifying neurodegenerative diseases, it is important that the Company has tools to monitor the disease modifying effects of its picobodies.
The data received from Dr. Masliah’s lab was a confirmation of the previously obtained Blood-Brain-Barrier study results of this Company’s alpha-synuclein picobody. Ex-vivo (out of body) analysis of brain tissues from Parkinson’s-like transgenic mice matched with the in-vivo (inside body) detection of alpha-synuclein protein aggregates and Lewy bodies.
What is Next?
Narrowing the Bridge between Diagnosing and Treating Neurodegenerative Conditions
The Company is working diligently to move on to the next big milestone, which is to scan the animal brain (and eventually the human brain) with picobodies to detect/diagnose the neurodegenerative conditions in a non-invasive way. Since the diagnostic picobody is also a therapeutic picobody, the Company plans to use PET imaging technology to monitor the elimination of pathological proteins from the brain and establish its correlation with the motor function. In this regard, the SDBC is collaborating with UCLA and a Michigan based research institute. The availability of ready-to-use transgenic mice for “For Profit” companies such as the SDBC is a big problem, which temporarily slowed down the momentum to conduct PET imaging experiments. Even Dr. David Stout of UCLA could not obtain 9-12 month old, ready to use, transgenic mice because such mice were intended for use in collaboration with a “For Profit” company. To overcome issues related to transgenic mice, the SDBC is engaged in discussions with McGill University of Canada and John Hopkins University of USA to license transgenic mice for breeding and maintaining on-going colonies. Licensing these transgenic mice is expensive but necessary to conduct experiments efficiently. The Company management feels that time lost in bringing transgenic mice in house will be made up in conducting future experiments in-house more efficiently than having to wait for months to receive results from its collaborators.
i. Finalized lease of a vivarium.
ii. Dr. Brian Davies, MD, MBA, has joined the SDBC effective November 20 to help the Company prepare scientific and business documents for presentation to institutional funding sources and to register the Company with the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission).
iii. The SDBC is preparing two grant applications for submission to NIH before December 5, 2012.
iv. Mr. Anand Mandyam, MS, has joined the SDBC to assist in laboratory experiments.
v. Dr. Arvind Bhambri, PhD, Professor at USC School of Business, has agreed to be an advisor to the SDBC’s Board of Directors. Dr. Bhambri is an internationally known Business Scholar.