E-Therapeutics and C4X upbeat on Parkinson's collaboration
Network-driven drug discovery company e-Therapeutics and C4X Discovery Holdings updated the market on their collaboration on Thursday, to identify novel intervention strategies for the potential treatment of Parkinson's Disease (PD).
The two AIM-traded firm described PD as a progressive neurological disease which affected up to 10 million people worldwide, with incidence increasing as the global population aged.
They said that, while to date some PD drivers had been identified, it had not resulted in any novel therapies.
C4X's proprietary genetic target discovery technology ‘Taxonomy3’ had found multiple novel disease-associated genes in Parkinson's Disease (PD), in addition to identifying discrete patient subgroups that could potentially provide an opportunity in stratified medicine, the companies said.
It was estimated that selecting genetically-supported drug targets should double the success rate of investigational new drugs in clinical development.
Those genetic discoveries provided a “significant opportunity” to uncover biological processes central to the causation and progression of disease.
E-therapeutics’ proprietary ‘Network-Driven Drug Discovery’ (NDD) approach was applied to the unique dataset, with the study analysing approximately 200 PD-associated genes identified by C4X's Taxonomy3 genomics platform.
Initial results identified novel potential pathophysiological mechanisms relevant to PD, as well as highlighting known mechanisms, the companies claimed.
They said the implications of such insights were now being explored further, and suggested a number of novel intervention strategies that could be taken forward using ETX's NDD approach, as well as providing another basis on which to select targets derived directly from C4X's Taxonomy3 platform.
Ultimately, the approach could yield new drugs to treat the disease, C4X and e-Therapeutics said.
“The initial results from this collaboration highlight the critical importance of considering biology in a network context to gain insights into clinically relevant biological mechanisms in complex disease,” said e-Therapeutics head of discovery biology Alan Whitmore.
“The ability to link genetic data to disease mechanism remains one of the greatest challenges of our industry.”
Whitmore said that, by using the advanced computational analytics of the NDD platform, the company was able to confirm the centrality of a number of known mechanisms in PD and, importantly, identify potential new ones.
“This in turn, opens up the prospect of new approaches to the discovery of effective novel drugs to tackle this and other undertreated, debilitating conditions.”
Craig Fox, chief scientific officer at C4X, added that following the identification of novel drug targets for the treatment of PD from the direct findings from the Taxonomy3 platform, the company recognised there still remained “untapped potential” in the proprietary analysis.
“By working with the team at e-Therapeutics and utilising their NDD platform, we have been able to access cutting-edge mathematical and data analysis techniques to augment and interrogate the vast amount of biological information currently available in both public and private databases.
“This combination has identified additional novel biological pathways for the treatment of PD and we look forward to moving these findings forward to initiate new drug discovery programmes.”