CavoGene Pursues New Therapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Including Alzheimer’s

CavoGene Pursues New Therapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Including Alzheimer’s
CavoGene LifeSciences is going to explore a new gene therapy, called SynCav1, that may represent an alternative and attractive strategy to treat several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's. This follows CavoGene's acquisition of SynCav1’s developmental and commercialization rights from the University of California San Diego. SynCav1 was designed to specifically restore and enhance the levels of pro-growth signals in nerve cells by promoting the production of a cell membrane protein called Caveolin-1 (Cav-1). This protein sits on the cellular membrane and allows extracellular signals to be translated into signals that are understandable by cells' internal machinery. Led by Brian P. Head, PhD, a Veterans Affairs' research scientist and associate adjunct professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine, the research team showed that by increasing the levels of Cav-1 protein specifically in nerve cells it could be possible to promote their growth, regeneration, and innervation. "Cav-1 is a neuronal cell membrane scaffolding protein, analogous to a coat hanger in one's closet," Head said in a press release. "By recruiting and organizing synaptic receptors and associated signaling components together in close proximity, Cav-1 allows for the enhancement of functional synapses and neuroplasticity.” Synapses are the junctions between two nerve cells that allow them to communicate; synaptic plasticity refers to the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken over time. “In a
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