Accure Therapeutics announced its opening, supported by €7.6 million (about $8.1 million) in Series A funding. The Barcelona, Spain-based pharmaceutical company will focus on developing treatment candidates for central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
The funding round was led by Alta Life Sciences, and supported by the Centre for Technological and Industrial Development.
For Parkinson’s, the company’s lead candidate is Act-02, an orally active brain penetrant and selective inhibitor of the enzyme prolyl oligopeptidase. These peptidases are involved in the catabolism of neurotransmitters — chemical signals that allow nerve cells to communicate — and the modulation of certain protein-protein interactions that can affect cognition and neurodegeneration.
The potential treatment has shown properties that suggest an ability to improve cognition in preclinical models of brain disorders, the company reports on a webpage.
Accure will also begin work on programs for diseases that include optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. By integrating advances in neurobiology with clinical research, it seeks to develop therapies that promote neuroprotection and neurorepair.
Overall, Accure hopes to fill an unmet need for disease modifiers — therapies that can change the course of CNS diseases. Such disorders are expected to become more prevalent globally as the population ages.
The CNS pharmaceutical market exceeds $80 billion annually, a volume that’s expected to grow, Accure reports, adding that 14% of the world’s population has a CNS disorder, a leading cause of disability globally.
“We are confident that Accure will create significant value in a CNS sector,” said Montserrat Vendrell, an Alta partner, in a press release. “Accure Therapeutics will operate according to the efficient, small R&D model and its team will be best positioned to deliver value to patients, caregivers, doctors, and the industry at large.”
A potential treatment of people with optic neuritis and multiple sclerosis, called Act-01, is ready to enter Phase 2 trial after a first study in healthy volunteers showed safety and tolerability at single and multiple doses, the release states.
Supported by the Spanish research companies Bionure and Iproteos, and academic research centers with a neurobiology background, its initial portfolio is expected to expand to include more CNS disorders.
“The high-quality assets in our product portfolio have the potential to change the lives of patients living with disabling CNS diseases,” said Laurent Nguyen, Accure’s founding CEO. “Life is a gift. Let us work hard to respect it.”
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