Syndesi Therapeutics to develop treatment for cognitive disorders26/03/2018

February 1st, 2018 - Syndesi Therapeutics was launched as the result of a partnership between UCB and a syndicate of Belgian and international investors, led by Novo Seeds (Denmark) and Fountain Healthcare (Ireland) together with Johnson & Johnson Innovation (United States), V-BIO Ventures, the Walloon Investment Fund (SRIW) and VIVES Louvain Technology Fund. Syndesi Therapeutics has an exclusive worldwide license from UCB in order to develop and commercialize pro-cognitive SV2A modulators. It will be located in the JLINX incubator’s facilities in order to benefit from the know-how on the Janssen campus in Beerse, Belgium.

Syndesi Therapeutics will leverage UCB’s neurology expertise in modulating the synaptic vesicle protein (SV2A). UCB’s Neuroscience researchers have designed a unique class of new SV2A modulators. Unlike levetiracetam and other types of SV2A modulators discovered and developed by UCB for epilepsy, the new compounds are devoid of anti-epileptic properties but have demonstrated robust pro-cognitive properties in preclinical models. Cognitive impairment currently being outside UCB’s strategic scope, the decision was made to have the program further developed externally to leverage its full potential. The discovery of these novel pro-cognitive SV2A modulators at UCB has benefitted from prior support of the Walloon Region, and Syndesi will use the Series A investment of EUR 17 million to build upon that work and move the lead molecule into clinical development.

 UCB is the world leader in SV2A research, having discovered and developed two major anti-epileptic drugs treating patients around the world. We are excited to see Syndesi develop our novel pro-cognitive SV2A modulators to create value for patients with cognitive impairment” said Dhavalkumar Patel, UCB’s Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President. “The Belgian life science ecosystem is particularly vibrant and we realised that it was the right environment to promote this research as part of our biotech model approach.

Jonathan Savidge, PhD CEO of Syndesi noted “Development of these small molecules that modulate the SV2A target in a distinct manner represents an intriguing new approach for the treatment of cognitive deficits since they specifically target synaptic dysfunction, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and other indications characterized by cognitive impairment. Syndesi benefits both from UCB’s research expertise and from an impressive syndicate of experienced investors and their respective networks.

Cognitive impairment remains an area of significant unmet need for patients not only with Alzheimer’s disease but also more broadly across a range of neurological disorders, and we are excited about the potential promise of this novel therapeutic approach” says Morten Graugaard Døssing, Principal at Novo Seeds. “I am thrilled to be working with the company which is supported by scientists at UCB and able to leverage Janssen neuroscience expertise via a presence at the JLINX incubator, all in an effort to develop products that could one day make a meaningful difference for patients suffering from cognitive impairment.



Source: UCB News


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