Nitrome Raises $38M to Bring Potential Enzyme Treatment into Clinical Trials

Nitrome Raises $38M to Bring Potential Enzyme Treatment into Clinical Trials
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Nitrome Biosciences has raised $38 million in Series A financing to advance its lead program toward clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other age-related disorders.

“This financing will enable Nitrome to advance our mission of impacting the lives of patients with neurodegenerative and other age-related diseases,” said Irene Griswold-Prenner, PhD, Nitrome founder and CEO, in a press release.

Nitrome’s therapies targeting Parkinson’s aim to inhibiting a newly identified enzyme the company calls synuclein nitrase. According to the company, this enzyme causes or speeds the nitration — a type of chemical modification caused by cellular stress — and buildup of alpha-synuclein, a PD hallmark. Nitrome hopes to evaluate in a pilot study whether blocking or impeding this enzyme might slow or halt Parkinson’s progression.

Aggregation of alpha-synuclein — the main component of PD Lewy bodies — is found in the brain as well as the peripheral autonomic nervous system, which ultimately impacts breathing and digestion.

A nitrated form of the protein can be detected in salivary gland tissue of Parkinson’s patients. Since nitrated alpha-synuclein is present in early disease stages, it has the potential to be a promising disease biomarker.

Nitrome is also seeking to expand application of its platform technology to other age-related diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

“Nitrome’s breakthrough science is paving the way for novel, disease-modifying therapies, said Henrijette Richter, PhD, a  managing partner of Sofinnova Partners and a new Nitrome board member. “Nitrome’s team is made up of highly respected neuroscientists accomplished in drug discovery. The company is well-positioned to potentially transform the lives of Parkinson’s patients and others who suffer from age-related diseases.”

The funding was co-led by Sofinnova and AbbVie Ventures, and included the Dementia Discovery Fund, Mission Bay Capital, and Alexandria Venture Investments.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research awarded Nitrome a Target Advancement grant of an undisclosed amount in June 2019 to help support further development of potential PD therapies.

Roughly 7 million to 10 million individuals globally have Parkinson’s disease, including some 1 million in the United States.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Ana holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Lisbon and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated with a BSc in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received a Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England. After leaving the lab to pursue a career in Science Communication, she served as the Director of Science Communication at iMM.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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