Alzheimers-300x127Cypralis, a life sciences company focussed on the discovery of therapeutics for the modulation of peptidyl-prolyl isomerases (PPIases), has been awarded funding of $524,000 by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF).

The ADDF funding will augment the existing collaboration, facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, between Cypralis and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen), which aims to develop new cyclophilin inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases.

Cyclophilin inhibitors on the market or in development are non-selective between the four commonly screened cyclophilin isoforms A, B, C and D.

Cypralis and Janssen are currently undertaking a joint research programme to generate a new class of CNS penetrant, selective inhibitors of cyclophilin D applicable to targeting degenerative diseases including CNS degeneration.

The ADDF funding will enable Cypralis to extend “hit-to-lead” medicinal chemistry and broaden its library of novel brain-penetrant cyclophilin inhibitors, whilst continuing to participate in the joint research programme with Janssen.

Dr Michael Peel, CSO of Cypralis, commented: “The ADDF funding opens an exciting pathway towards developing a novel class of cyclophilin D inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Many previous publications have recognised the potential for cyclophilin D as a novel target for degenerative disease but no group has published on compounds which combine sub-type selectivity and brain penetration.”

“If data from the ADDF funding is encouraging, Cypralis would expect to initiate a lead optimisation campaign in early 2018 with the goal of generating a novel pre-clinical candidate for this extremely challenging and devastating disease.”

Dr Howard Fillit, CSO of the ADDF, added: “With ADDF funding, Cypralis will use its extensive knowledge of cyclophilin inhibitors to explore their potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurogenerative diseases. We are excited to support this first-in-class programme.”