Lawson Research Institute and STEMCELL Tech. Partner to Commercialize Novel Tools for Parkinson’s Disease Research

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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The Lawson Health Research Institute recently signed a licensing agreement with STEMCELL Technologies to transfer international exclusive rights to commercialize innovative tools for Parkinson’s Disease research. STEMCELL Technologies provides more than 2,000 products to over 70 countries worldwide, including cell culture reagents, instruments and tools designed to support science along the basic to translational research continuum.

Among the most commonly diagnosed neurodegenerative disorders, Parkinson’s disease ranks only second to Alzheimer’s disease and is estimated to affect about 7-10 million people across the globe. Its symptoms include tremors, slowness of movement, impaired balance, muscle rigidity, cognitive decline and other medical disturbances, all a result of gradual neuronal cell death. This greatly compromises dopamine generation, which plays an important role in signal conduction between nerve cells. While some studies have narrowed down genetic causes behind Parkinson’s disease, most cases remain unexplained.

Dr. Matthew Hebb, a neurosurgeon-researcher at Lawson and Western University’s Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences said, “The partnership with STEMCELL Technologies greatly expands the expertise focused on moving this technology forward and providing critical access to researchers worldwide.”

Commenting on the agreement:

“We are delighted for the opportunity to bring these important products to the research community and we are excited to be the exclusive supplier.”
– Dr. Allen Eaves, CEO and President of STEMCELL Technologies

“Lawson’s partnership with STEMCELL Technologies is critically important to provide global access to these novel research tools that are anticipated to enable unique insights into the disease process.”
– Kirk Brown, Manager, Business Development, Lawson

“Lawson is very pleased to partner with STEMCELL Technologies to make these products available to all researchers, with the immediate goal of moving Parkinson’s Disease research forward and the ultimate goal that it will lead to better treatment options for patients.”
– Dr. David Hill, Scientific Director, Lawson

In a new study entitled “VPS35 in Dopamine Neurons Is Required for Endosome-to-Golgi Retrieval of Lamp2a, a Receptor of Chaperone-Mediated Autophagy That Is Critical for α-Synuclein Degradation and Prevention of Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease” scientists discovered that loss of the VPS35 protein expression in Parkinson’s disease interferes with dopamine-neurons recycling pathways, leading to accumulation of alpha-synuclein protein deposits and contributing to disease pathogenesis. The study was published in The Journal of Neuroscience.