Partnership with Myelin Repair Foundation Achieves Key Milestone for Potential Acute Optic Neuritis MS Therapeutic
May 27, 2014
Bionure Inc. today announced its drug candidate, BN201, was shown to promote myelination — the cellular process of repairing the protective sheath surrounding nerves that is damaged in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The pre-clinical study was conducted in a novel cell-culture assay developed by the Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) and assessed at the Foundation’s Translational Medicine Center under a previously announced collaborative agreement.
Bionure and the Myelin Repair Foundation are working together to evaluate BN201 as a potential myelin repair candidate for treating acute optic neuritis and the severe MS relapses that occur in some patients. Acute optic neuritis is a severe inflammation of the optic nerve that may lead to blindness in people with MS. Using the Foundation’s co-culture assay, the collaboration’s scientists were able to show BN201 promotes myelination in animal cells.
“We are working closely with scientists at the Myelin Repair Foundation’s Translational Medicine Center to advance the commercialization of BN201,” said Albert G. Zamora, CEO at Bionure, Inc. “The MRF’s myelin repair assay provided the confidence and independent validation to help us propel BN201 into clinical trials to determine its efficacy in humans. As a result, Bionure will now expand upon the intellectual property that we have for this compound.”
“We are delighted to collaborate with Bionure to advance a potential myelin repair therapeutic for MS and optic neuritis towards commercialization,” said Jay Tung, Ph.D., chief research officer at the Myelin Repair Foundation. “Our collaboration with Bionure exemplifies the value that our Translational Medicine Center brings to industry partners. Our goal is to leverage our non-profit status to partner with industry and accelerate the drug development of potential MS therapeutics that promote myelin repair.”
About Bionure Inc.
Bionure, Inc. (www.bionure.com) is a Silicon Valley- and Barcelona-based drug development company focused on developing neuroprotective therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Under an Orphan Drug designation, Bionure plans to enter its lead compound into the clinic for acute optic neuritis/neuromyelitis optica in 2014.
About the Myelin Repair Foundation
The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) is a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit research organization accelerating the development of therapeutics that repair myelin, the protective sheath surrounding nerves that is damaged in people with multiple sclerosis. The Foundation’s Accelerated Research Collaboration™ model is bridging the gaps from academic research to FDA approval to develop the first myelin repair treatment for MS by mid-2019 — within 15 years of its founding. MRF is committed to demonstrating the applicability of its model to speed up the development of treatments for all diseases. The Foundation’s Translational Medicine Center is dedicated to the development of assays and models to support the discovery and development of myelin repair therapeutics. For more information, please visit www.myelinrepair.org.