The therapeutics platform developed by Mitobridge, a biopharmaceutical company developing medicines to improve mitochondria function, will now include modulators of the Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) pathway, the company announced.
NAD+ is an essential coenzyme to our cells’ metabolic reactions, cell signaling and energy production by mitochondria. A coenzyme is a small molecule that helps a special class of proteins – enzymes – to accelerate, or catalyze, reactions in our cells.
Mitobridge established a license agreement with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland for intellectual property to use treatments that boost NAD+ levels as therapy for several mitochondria-related diseases, after research developed by the laboratory of Johan Auwerx, MD, PhD. Auwerx is a professor at EPFL and a leader in the field of NAD+ modulation.
“Modulating NAD+ levels represents an innovative strategy for improving mitochondrial function and holds great promise for therapeutic development. I am delighted that Mitobridge is pursuing this approach and look forward to working with the team to progress new product candidates,” Auwerx said in a press release.
Previous studies have shown that reduced NAD+ levels are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Moreover, cells under stress have lower detrimental effects if NAD+ normal levels are maintained. As such, drugs that protect or increase NAD+ levels could carry potential therapeutic effects for many mitochondria-associated diseases.
Mitobridge is developing drug candidates to target multiple steps of the NAD+ synthesis and metabolic cascade of events. These include drugs targeting multiple enzymes, including Poly ADP Ribose Polymerase (PARP), Aminocarboxymuconate Semialdehyde Decarboxylase (ACMSD) and N′-Nicotinamide Methyltransferase (NNMT).
With the intellectual property agreement with EPFL, Mitobridge increases its NAD+ modulation patent portfolio.
“Our goal is to develop novel therapeutics for restoring healthy mitochondria and impacting severe diseases with limited treatment options. This license strengthens our IP estate and expands our opportunities to address multiple medical conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction,” said George Mulligan, PhD, senior vice president of Translational Medicine at Mitobridge.
As part of its commitment to develop mitochondria-targeted therapeutics, Mitobridge also is developing a safety testing of their investigational drug MA-0211 (MTB-1) in healthy volunteers before proceeding to clinical trial with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a disease in which patients show mitochondria impairments characterized by muscle weakness. Additional clinical studies for other diseases are being planned.