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12:00 AM
 | 
Aug 20, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Mind-NRG: New neuroprotection

Mind-NRG's neuregulin 1 fragment could treat early stage Parkinson's disease

Approved therapies for Parkinson's disease treat motor symptoms but cannot stop the loss of dopaminergic neurons that causes them. Mind-NRG's neuregulin 1 fragment could slow disease progression by preventing damage to dopaminergic neurons before motor symptoms appear.

Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) plays a critical role in neuronal development in the brain by agonizing epidermal growth factor receptor 4 (EGFR4; HER4; ErbB4), which is highly expressed on dopaminergic neurons. NRG1-ErbB4 signaling also regulates interactions between glutamate and its receptors that are involved in cognition and memory.

In 2005, researchers at biomarker company ProteoSys AG (now ProteoSys GmbH) were investigating cerebrospinal fluid levels of NRG1 as a marker for Alzheimer's disease (AD). They found that an NRG1 fragment - the 27-kDa extracellular domain of the protein's beta-1 isoform - had potential neuroprotective effects on the CNS.

Because ProteoSys lacked expertise in developing CNS therapeutics, the team took the project to Index Ventures' Remy Luthringer, who suggested testing the neuroprotective properties of the fragment in...

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