Rewind Therapeutics, a private Belgian biotech company developing remyelinating therapies for myelin-related diseases, has been awarded a €2.9 million grant from Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). The grant will be used to lead a new industry-academic research and development collaboration to discover and develop first-in-class inhibitors of a key G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) target that plays an important role in myelin-related neurological diseases.1

Partners in the collaboration include the Stem Cell Institute at KU Leuven (KUL) and IMEC, a leader in research and innovation in nanoelectronics and digital technology. KUL will focus on developing cellular screening assays to assess the potential of small molecule candidates to block the target GPCR and induce nerve remyelination. IMEC will devise a novel chip-based engineering approach to measure nerve myelination.1

Together, the collaboration partners aim to provide the expertise necessary to establish a disruptive innovation platform to study the biology of nerve myelination and neuronal function and provide unique advantages in discovering and advancing new potent and selective drugs for nerve and brain repair.1

A demyelinating disease is any condition resulting in damage to the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cords. When that sheath is damaged, nerve impulses can slow or even stop, leading to neurological problems. Multiple sclerosis is the most common demyelinating disease, though others include optic neuritis, neuromyelitis optica, and transverse myelitis.2

"Therapies that promote myelin repair would represent an unprecedented approach to treating multiple progressive neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and could prevent or reverse disability," said Ian J. Reynolds, CEO of Rewind Therapeutics.1


References
  1. Rewind Therapeutics Awarded €2.9 Million VLAIO Grant to Discover and Develop Novel Drug Candidates for Myelin-related Neurological Diseases. PR Newswire. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rewind-therapeutics-awarded-eur2-9-million-vlaio-grant-to-discover-and-develop-novel-drug-candidates-for-myelin-related-neurological-diseases-877524974.html. Published August 1, 2019. Accessed August 1, 2019.
  2. Swanson JW. Demyelinating disease: What can you do about it? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/expert-answers/demyelinating-disease/faq-20058521. Accessed August 1, 2019.