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Parkinson’s UK and Domainex join forces to develop neuroinflammation therapies

Research collaboration between Parkinson’s UK and Domainex has the potential to improve 140,000 lives

Parkinson’s UK and Domainex have announced a collaboration focused on developing small molecule therapies targeting neuroinflammation, which could slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

Domainex–a leading integrated medicines research services partner–will provide fully integrated drug discovery services including assay biology, medicinal and computational chemistry. The partnership is anticipated to be undertaken over a two-and-a-half-year period and Parkinson’s UK will invest up to £3m in the project via its drug development arm–the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech.

Inflammation is the biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells or irritants. It is essential for defending the body from infections, injuries and toxins. In the case of Parkinson’s, however, there is excessive chronic inflammation in the brain, which is believed to play a role in damaging brain cells.

As part of the collaboration, Domainex will conduct integrated drug discovery of molecules that target a protein found on the surface of microglia, the main immune cells in the brain that become overactive in Parkinson’s.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by Parkinson’s UK to work on this promising project which has the potential to improve the lives of 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK,” said Tom Mander, CEO of Domainex. “Domainex has built up significant expertise of working with several charities and patient foundations, including projects funded by the British Heart Foundation, CHDI Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, where we have utilised our extensive knowledge to add significant value.

“We look forward to working with the team at Parkinson’s UK and supporting the wider Parkinson’s community to progress the development of potentially life-changing medicines,” he added.

Dr Richard Morphy, Drug Discovery manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Domainex was selected following an extensive review process on the basis of their experience and capability to execute a fully integrated drug discovery project, including the development of neuroinflammation assays and the optimisation of our compounds’ target engagement in the brain.”