A key step in the biotech company’s approach to treating these diseases was discovering a protein motif which recognizes that several toxic misfolded proteins, including Aβ, tau and a-synuclein, share a common amyloid fold. The proprietary motif is called the General Amyloid Interaction Motif (GAIM).
Proclara’s therapies use GAIM to target the common amyloid fold. The goal is to prevent misfolded proteins from forming and, if they have, to block cells’ transmission of proteins that are toxic.
The company’s lead development candidate, a GAIM-Ig fusion protein known as NPT088, is being evaluated as a treatment of Alzheimer’s in a Phase 1b clinical trial.
The patents that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued to Proclara (9493515 and 9493516) cover agents and compositions aimed at detecting amyloid, reducing amyloid formation and promoting the disintegration of amyloid protein. They are valid until 2034.
The patents also cover second- and third-generation GAIM-based therapies for other misfolding diseases and for amyloidosis, an abnormal build-up of amyloid protein in tissue and organs. The therapies are in preclinical testing.
“Receipt of these patents marks a significant milestone for Proclara, providing broad and powerful protection of our core technology while underscoring the innovative nature of our novel approach to treating protein misfolding disorders,” Richard Fisher, PhD, chief scientific officer of Proclara, said in a press release. “As we advance our pipeline (of therapies), we are continuing to extend our patent estate, including additional patent applications related to our GAIM technology platform.”
In another Alzheimer’s-related development, researchers in Finland have found that the use of benzodiazepines and related therapies increased the risk of hip fracture in 43 percent of patients studied.
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