(File photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
ATLANTA -- Emory scientists will collaborate on Parkinson's disease research supported by a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to FPRT Bio, a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company.
The Emory research will be led by Malu Tansey, associate professor of physiology at Emory University School of Medicine.
Tansey is a leader in studying the role of neuro-inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. The award, focused on the molecule XPro1595, is the latest in a series of grants supporting Tansey's laboratory in the development of therapies aimed at treating Parkinson's disease.
Tansey's research is focused on tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a substance implicated in causing chronic neuro-inflammation and nerve death, the hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease.
The FPRT Bio molecule XPro1595 has been found to neutralize TNF and thus could potentially prevent chronic inflammation and nerve death. Because XPro159 selectively inhibits TNF, its effects on the central nervous system differ from that of currently approved non-selective TNF inhibitors.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, XPro1595 has been shown in the laboratory and pre-clinical studies to promote nerve cell survival and remyelination and to increase central nervous system plasticity.
This disease modifying therapy could be effective in treating any neurologic disease where chronic neuro-inflammation and nerve cell death are part of the core pathology, including ALS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.