business agreement handshakeMironid Ltd, a leader in cell signalling-directed drug development, and the University of Sheffield, have announced that they have signed a collaboration agreement to identify and develop new molecules for the treatment of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).

The partnership will focus on advancing Mironid’s proprietary LoAc molecules towards clinical development, with the aim of producing new therapies that can improve the health of ADPKD patients.

ADPKD is a devastating, life-threatening and currently incurable genetic disorder in which kidney cysts progressively form throughout life.

Cyst formation is driven by excessive generation of the cell signalling molecule cyclic AMP, and causes a wide range of health problems including abdominal pain, high blood pressure and urinary tract infections, eventually leading to kidney failure. ADPKD affects around 12.5 million people worldwide, with around 50% requiring treatment for kidney failure by the age of 60.

Mironid’s unique LoAc therapeutic approach, based upon the pioneering work of Professor Miles Houslay, one of the founders of the company, selectively activates long form phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) enzymes to break down the disease-elevated cyclic AMP levels that drive cyst formation in ADPKD.

This approach has been shown to suppress and reverse cyst formation in ADPKD patient-derived kidney cells in Professor Albert Ong’s laboratory in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Sheffield.

Commenting on the collaboration, Albert Ong, Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Sheffield, said: “The University has developed leading edge, translational ADPKD models and expertise in biomarker development and clinical strategies for therapeutics for the disease. Prof Miles Houslay has spent more than 30 years investigating the mechanisms of PDE4 biology, and we are very pleased to be working in partnership with his team at Mironid to progress the development of therapeutics for this debilitating disease.”

Dr Neil Wilkie, Director and Chief Operating Officer at Mironid, said: “Professor Ong is a world leading authority on ADPKD and his research at the University of Sheffield focuses on the molecular genetics, cell biology, pathogenesis and therapy for this disease. We are delighted to be working with his team to develop new therapeutics that have the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for patients suffering with ADPKD.”