The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) has awarded Italian biotechnology company Axxam SpA a $340,485 grant to support the development of novel medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The company is exploring drugs based on small molecules with the ability to target inflammation directly. It is the third time that the foundation has decided to support Axxam, after having awarded research grants in both 2011 and 2013.
The company will invest the $340,485 grant in its drug discovery project, designed to identify compounds able to selectively block P2X7, the purinergic receptor associated with brain inflammation. Previous research made possible by the two other ADDF grants had already allowed the discovery of a new class of promising P2X7-selective antagonists, which are currently being studied, and are believed to be suitable for in vivo evaluation in pharmacological models soon.
“Compounds that potently and selectively block P2X7 may treat brain inflammation and can potentially be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases,” explained the Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer at ADDF, Howard Fillit, MD. “P2X7 is an unexplored target for this indication and we are excited to fund the program and investigate its therapeutic potential.”
“We are very pleased to obtain continued support from the ADDF with this peer-reviewed grant, which recognizes the quality of our research capabilities in the challenging field of neuroinflammation and our ability to deliver what was promised,” added the co-founder and CEO of Axxam, Stefan Lohmer. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with the ADDF team and further move our Alzheimer’s disease program forward.”
Milan, Italy-based Axxam is currently advancing several discovery programs and has partnerships with companies and non-profit organizations alike. Axxam’s dedication to finding a solution for Alzheimer’s Disease has warranted years of support from the ADDF, whose main mission is to enhance the discovery of drugs able to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s, and other types of dementia and cognitive conditions. The grant awarded to Axxam is part of the organization funding campaign that has already attributed over $66 million to support more than 450 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs in academic centers and biotechnology companies in 18 different nations.
In addition, ADDF recently established a partnership with the Boston-based software company OnDeckBiotech, in order to launch a new and open access platform for gathering scientists with a virtual network of contract research organizations (CROs), drug development experts, and educational resources. It is called ADDF ACCESS and aims to offer improved functionality, with enhanced search capabilities to help researchers identify companies that provide specific services relevant to CNS drug discovery and development.