inflazome

Inflazome receives funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

  • Funding in excess of US$1 million to support the development of a brain imaging probe for patient diagnosis and the clinical development of drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases

  • Inflazome is developing orally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome

  • NLRP3 activation is now associated with the progression of Parkinson’s Disease

Dublin (IE), Cambridge (UK): Inflazome (inflazome.com), the pioneering biotech company developing several small molecule drugs that inhibit harmful inflammation, today announces it has been awarded funding in excess of US$1 million by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). The grant will fund the development of a NLRP3-specific Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracer to allow non-invasive imaging of inflammasome-driven inflammation in the brain.

To enhance the accuracy and probability of success of a clinical trial in neurodegenerative disease, it is important to select suitable patients at the appropriate staging of the disease. It is also essential to determine whether the biological target of interest is being engaged by the drug in the brain. One approach to achieve this in the central nervous system (CNS) is by using an NLRP3-specific tracer during a PET scan. The tracer could quickly, accurately and non-invasively produce images showing the drug binding to target inflammasomes in the brain.

The NLRP3 inflammasome is believed to drive chronic inflammation associated with the progression of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s Disease. The PET tracer will also help Inflazome to determine what doses are needed for patients in larger clinical trials in the future. The Principal Investigator on this project is Prof. Matthew Cooper, CEO and co-founder of Inflazome, who is assisted by Co-Investigator Dr David Miller, Head of Medicinal Chemistry.

Inflazome is developing orally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome, which is now understood to drive many chronic and acute inflammatory conditions. The NLRP3 inflammasome was recently shown to be associated with the progression of Parkinson’s Disease in humans and in non-clinical models, in research published on 31 October 2018 in Science Translational Medicine (Link).

This innovative research was co-authored by Prof. Cooper with research teams at The University of Queensland, Australia, led by A/Prof. Trent Woodruff and funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Shake It Up Australia Foundation.

Prof Matt Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO of Inflazome, commented: “The Michael J. Fox Foundation is a fantastic organisation with a passionate commitment to new science, science translation and candidate therapies for Parkinson’s. We are fully aligned in our shared goal to help patients with Parkinson’s and other debilitating neurodegenerative diseases, for which there are inadequate therapies and no cures. Their support will help us advance and hopefully validate our disruptive approach to diagnose and then treat patients by focusing on neuroinflammation.”

Dr Jamie Eberling, Director of Research Programs at MJFF, said, “An imaging tool to visualize neuroinflammation may help investigate Parkinson’s onset and progression as well as evaluate new treatments that could alter the course of the disease. Our Foundation is investing in this research due to the significant potential impact on drug development and patient lives.”


About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide, affecting more than 10 million people. It is characterised by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons, accompanied by chronic inflammation in the brain. Inflazome has identified drugs to stop the chronic cycle of inflammation in the brain. Research published in Science Translational Medicine on 31 October 2018 found that the tool compound MCC950, a potent inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome, given orally once a day could stop neuroinflammation. MCC950 arrested the effects of Parkinson’s in several animal models of the disease, leading to reduced brain neuron loss and higher levels of dopamine.

A link to a Parkinson’s Disease explainer video can be found here


About Inflazome

Utilizing the scientific expertise of our founders and advisors, Inflazome is leading the way in developing rally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome, which is now understood to drive many chronic inflammatory conditions. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Inflazome was founded in 2016 by leading academics Professor Matt Cooper, The University of Queensland (Australia) and Professor Luke O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), following a highly productive joint collaboration.

To learn more visit: inflazome.com


About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $800 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges ground-breaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.

Appointment of Dr Thomas Jung as Chief Medical Officer of Inflazome

  • Industry veteran clinician to lead the clinical development of Inflazome’s pioneering NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors to treat inflammatory diseases

  • Appointment follows Inflazome’s recent successful €40m Series B financing

  • The NLRP3 inflammasome is now associated with a broad range of serious medical conditions driven by harmful inflammation; from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, to cardiovascular, liver, kidney and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Dublin, Ireland and Cambridge, UK : Inflazome (inflazome.com), the pioneering inflammasome company, announces the appointment of Dr Thomas Jung M.D., Ph.D., as its Chief Medical Officer.

Dr Jung joins Inflazome’s senior management team to lead the clinical development of its potent and selective small-molecule inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Dr Jung will oversee the company's global operations related to the development of Inflazome’s lead and next-generation compounds across a range of therapeutic indications; and will work collaboratively with Dr Jeff Thompson, Inflazome’s Head of Clinical Operations and Joanna Tufnell, Head of Regulatory Affairs.

Dr Matt Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO of Inflazome, commented: “Dr Jung has a long and successful track record in guiding pioneering medicines to the market. He brings significant breadth and depth in clinical immunology to the team. We look forward to working together to drive our novel immunotherapies through clinical trials to benefit patients affected by harmful inflammation.”

On his appointment Dr Jung commented: “I am delighted to join the Inflazome team. I see huge potential in Inflazome’s novel small molecules and their ability to transform patients’ lives in a variety of clinical indications. I am looking forward to working with physicians, scientists and patients to develop these new drugs and to deliver on the promise to modify inflammation for patients’ benefit”.

Dr Thomas Jung

Dr Jung is a M.D., Ph.D. physician-scientist with extensive experience in Translational Sciences, Preclinical and Clinical Development of small molecules and biologics.

During a distinguished career at Novartis, Dr Jung was a member of the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research and Novartis Pharma for 13 years. His primary focus of immunological research was the study of innovative anti-inflammatory principles. He led the Canakinumab (Illaris®) Team in the US and EU, from bench to first approval for CAPS (Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes, a rare monogenetic disease). Dr Jung was also central to its expansion strategy into indications such as systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, gout and other rare fever syndromes. He made a significant contribution to the exploration of Canakinumab in cardiovascular diseases and served as the Development Head for Immunology products and, subsequently, as Head of the Translational Medicine Group for Novartis Europe. Thereafter, Dr Jung served as Chief Development Officer and Chief Medical Officer for two biotechnology companies in Switzerland: Auris Medical and Delenex. Dr Jung is a board-certified Dermatologist and holds an Associate Professor position for Dermatology at the University of Göttingen, Germany.

About Inflazome

Utilizing the scientific expertise of our founders and advisors, Inflazome is leading the way in developing orally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome, which is now understood to drive many chronic and acute inflammatory conditions from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to cardiovascular, liver, kidney and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Inflazome was founded in 2016 by leading academics Prof. Matt Cooper, The University of Queensland (Australia) and Prof. Luke O’Neill Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), following a highly productive joint collaboration.

To advance its programs to clinical development, Inflazome recently closed a Series B financing of €40M / US$46M led by Forbion Capital Partners with Longitude Capital and Series A investors, Fountain Healthcare Partners and Novartis Venture Fund, also participating.

To learn more visit: inflazome.com