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NRG Therapeutics receives £2.68m Innovate UK Award

The funds will be used for research into new treatments for Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease


Neil Miller

NRG Therapeutics (NRG) has received the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) award to help fund research into treatments for Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease (MND) and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The BMC award is partially funded by Innovate UK, a government-backed agency and the £2.68m will go on to support a 24-month project, which will begin this month.

NRG, a private UK neuroscience company focused on mitochondrial dysfunction, will use the funds to invest in pre-clinical development of its novel small molecule disease-modifying medicines.

NRG’s research in mitochondrial biology aims to develop first-in-class treatments for Parkinson’s and MND (otherwise known as ALS), as well as treatments for other neurodegenerative disorders.

The company’s research is based on disrupting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) in brain cells, which has demonstrated neuroprotective characteristics in several preclinical models of Parkinson’s and MND.

While mitochondria are crucial for maintaining cell health, acting as the powerhouses of cells, there is now considerable evidence showing that mitochondrial dysfunction is a common thread across various degenerative diseases.

The new treatments developed by NRG have shown, in vitro, the ability to protect mitochondria and prevent the destruction of brain cells. This could have the potential to significantly hinder or even halt the progression of those living with MND or Parkinson's.

In addition to its research into Parkinson’s, a disease that affects around six million people globally, NRG is targeting a novel pathological mechanism in MND that was identified by its collaborators in Australia in 2020. MND is a neurodegenerative disease that typically leads to death within three to five years of diagnosis, with current standard treatment only able to extend life by approximately three months.

NRG Therapeutics’ co-founder and CEO Dr Neil Miller (pictured) said: “Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common underlying pathology in many degenerative diseases and there is a substantial body of preclinical data available which demonstrates that inhibition of the mPTP in the brain prevents neuronal cell death, reduces neuroinflammation and extends survival in animals. With our unique discoveries, NRG is in a leadership position in this field to develop first-in-class CNS-penetrant mPTP inhibitors”.

The award given to NRG from Innovate UK follows seed equity funding grants from the Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech – the branch of Parkinson’s UK for drug development – and funding from The Michael J Fox Foundation.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

30th May 2022

From: Research, Healthcare

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