FPRT Bio, a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with ties to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is furthering efforts in developing its XPro1595 disease modifying therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.
An experimental anti-inflammatory drug, XPro1595 is a novel second generation inhibitor of soluble TNF, used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
After having published a study last month revealing that XPro1595 protects vulnerable dopaminergic neurons and reduces motor deficits in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease, FPRT Bio continues to work closely with academic partners and disease foundations to further the development of its treatment.
The current investigational work on XPro1595’s effects is being funded by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, which awarded Dr. Malu Tansey, an associate professor of physiology at Emory University School of Medicine, and Yoland Smith, from Yerkes National Primate Research Center, according to a recent company press release. This funding will allow them to show the effects of XPro1595 in in a non-human primate model of Parkinson’s disease.
So far, researchers have found that injecting neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into only one side of the brain of the models reproduces some aspects of Parkinson’s disease: neurons that produce dopamine in the injected side of the brain die, leading to impaired movement on the opposite side of the body.
They found giving XPro1595 to the animals 3 days after the 6-OHDA injection results in only 15 percent of dopamine-producing neurons lost five weeks later. When XPro1595 is given two weeks after injection, 44 percent of the vulnerable neurons are still lost. These findings suggest that there is a limited window of opportunity to intervene.
If there actually is a window between diagnosing Parkinson’s disease and the time when the maximum number of vulnerable neurons are lost, then researchers might be able to slow or halt the progression of Parkinson’s with a treatment like Xpro1595,” Tansey believes.