Sheffield, UK: Keapstone Therapeutics Limited, a single-asset virtual biotech with an innovative disease-modifying therapeutic approach to motor neuron disease (MND) and Parkinson’s disease, announces that all drug discovery milestones have been successfully met in order to secure a further £1 million investment from Parkinson’s UK.
This brings the total seed investment in Keapstone to date to £2.4 million, from existing principal funding partners Parkinson’s UK and the University of Sheffield.
Keapstone will use the funds to complete certain preclinical packages and is seeking to attract further investment to achieve clinical candidate selection and first-in-human studies.
The company’s strategy is to utilise proprietary chemistry and biology to deliver CNS-penetrant molecules targeting disease-modifying mechanisms in these debilitating conditions.
Dr Richard Mead, co-founder of Keapstone said: “We are delighted to have met our first scientific milestones and that Parkinson’s UK are continuing to support our research, confirming their commitment to this exciting programme and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them and progressing this program to the next stage. This early scientific validation allows us to now engage with prospective biopharmaceutical partners and potential new investors.”
Inhibitors of KEAP1 activate Nrf2 signalling which can protect neurons from the onslaught of Parkinson’s and MND (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS).
There are no effective treatments for MND and while current Parkinson’s disease treatments help to manage symptoms they cannot slow or stop the progression of the condition. Recent research estimates that Parkinson’s currently affects 6.9 million people across the globe and this number is expected to more than double to over 14 million people by 2040.
Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK said: “Keapstone was the very first company that we helped launch as part of the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech Programme, to accelerate promising research and bring forward better treatments or a cure for Parkinson’s. We are very pleased with the progress of Keapstone’s work so far, and we are hopeful that these molecules could be the key in creating treatments for Parkinson’s that could slow or even stop the progression of the condition.”
For further information contact:
Keapstone Therapeutics Limited
Dr Tom Bartlett
Tel: +44 (0)114 222 8720
Notes to Editors
About Keapstone Therapeutics Limited
Keapstone is a spin-out company from the University of Sheffield which benefits from a deep understanding of NRF2 signalling developed by Dr Richard Mead and Professor Dame Pamela Shaw at the international Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.
MND results from degeneration of the motor system which rapidly progresses to death from neuromuscular respiratory failure in the majority of afflicted individuals within 3-5 years. ALS has a prevalence of approximately 4/10,000 people. Currently, there are no effective therapies for MND.
Parkinson’s is a progressive and incurable movement disorder characterised by the loss of brain dopaminergic neurons. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting 6.9 million individuals worldwide.
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