Halle/Saale, November 15, 2010 — Probiodrug AG (Probiodrug), a biotech company developing novel concepts and products for the treatment of neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease, today announced the appointment of Prof Cynthia Lemere, PhD, to the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Cynthia Lemere is Associate Professor of Neurology at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (USA).
Prof Dr Lemere has conducted extensive research in Alzheimer´s disease, with a special focus on amyloid β-peptides (Aβ), which are also target of Probiodrug´s therapeutic approaches. Moreover, her work centers around modulating the immune response through mucosal Aβ-vaccination, the characterization of biomarkers for Alzheimer´s disease, and the role of the complement system in early synapse loss and dysfunction in AD. She has also generated very important animal models of the disease to elucidate the pathomechanism of AD and possible treatment strategies. Most recently, she was involved in developing strategies to reduce beta amyloid protein and inflammation in AD brain, e.g. by immunization with synthetic peptides, as a means for the treatment and prevention of AD.
“We are very pleased that we have won Prof Lemere as member of our scientific advisory board,” commented Prof Dr Hans-Ulrich Demuth, Chief Scientific Officer of Probiodrug AG. “Her research underlines the importance of Aβ-peptides in the progression of Alzheimer´s disease and validates Probiodrug´s development approach. We are convinced that the appointment of Prof Lemere will be of great benefit to the work of our scientific advisory board.”
“We very much welcome Prof Lemere to our team of scientific advisors,” said Prof Dr A Kleemann, Chairman of Probiodrug’s Scientific Advisory Board and former Executive Board Member of the German pharma company Asta Medica. “She has been a very active participant in the research field of Alzheimer’s disease for many years and has outstanding experience in developing strategies to reduce amyloid β-peptides and inflammation in the AD brain. Prof Lemere´s expertise therefore will be extremely important for the ongoing preclinical and planned clinical development of Probiodrug’s drug candidates.”
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is characterized by the accumulation of neurotoxic plaques in the brain of AD patients. It has been discovered by Probiodrug that Aβ peptides carrying an N-terminal pyroglutamic residue are prone to form seeds of the depositions. These modified peptides are formed through a hitherto unknown catalytic activity of the enzyme glutaminyl cyclase (QC). Based on these findings, Probiodrug has developed a novel therapeutic concept for AD involving small molecule inhibitors of QC.
Probiodrug is a leading biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative small molecule drugs against novel molecular targets for the treatment of neuronal and inflammatory diseases. Probiodrug is validating new targets to develop first and best in class therapeutics in disease areas with high unmet medical needs. The Company has a dominant position in the area of glutaminyl cyclase inhibition. Glutaminyl cyclase a novel enzyme target discovered and patented by Probiodrug has a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as well as other inflammatory disease conditions. The company is also pursuing additional novel targets to treat inflammatory diseases.
Probiodrug is backed by institutions such as BB Biotech, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Goodvent/IBG, HBM, TVM, Life Sciences Partners, Biogen Idec Ventures, CFH Group and private investors.
Probiodrug’s core expertise is based on its long-standing, unique expertise in the elucidation of the structure and function of enzymes which play a central role in the maturation of hormones. The Company has pioneered the field of DP4-inhibition for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Compounds and technology patents of its DP4 (dipeptidyl peptidase 4) program in diabetes were licensed to various pharmaceutical companies. In 2004, all metabolic assets were sold to (OSI) Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The first drug based on Probiodrug`s technologies reached the market in late 2006. Proceeds of the various transactions have been reinvested to fund the novel approach for the treatment of AD and inflammatory diseases.
The Company was founded in 1997 by Prof Dr Hans-Ulrich Demuth and Dr Konrad Glund. Probiodrug has raised EUR 56 mio with the latest round of EUR 36 mio concluded in November 2009. In 2007, the company acquired Ingenium Pharmaceuticals AG; Probiodrug is located in Halle (Saale), Germany, and operates a subsidiary in Martinsried/Munich, Germany. For more information, please visit www.probiodrug.de.
Prof Dr Hans-Ulrich Demuth
Vice-CEO and CSO
D-06120 Halle/ Saale
Tel.: +49 345 55599-00
Fax: +49 345 55599-01
Dr Ludger Weß
Mittelweg 177 / MC177
Tel.: +49 40 88 16 59 64
Fax: +49 40 88 16 59 65