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NeuroVive enters research agreements in NASH and hepatocellular carcinoma

Lund, Sweden
Thursday, February 23, 2017, 16:00 Hrs  [IST]

NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB, the mitochondrial medicine company, announced two new research agreements and the appointment of Professor Philippe Gallay, PhD, and Professor Massimo Pinzani, MD, PhD, FRCP, as scientific advisors. The aim of the agreements is to further explore NeuroVive’s new drug compounds in development for the treatment of NASH and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

In the new collaboration with Philippe Gallay, the research teams will explore the mechanisms of action of the potent anti-cancer effects of NeuroVive’s novel sanglifehrin-based compounds. These studies will be an important part in NeuroVive’s HCC lead candidate selection process.

“I am enthusiastic about continuing the fruitful collaboration with the NeuroVive research team. NeuroVive’s potent drug compounds have unique and promising features that I am really excited in continuing to explore” said Prof. Philippe Gallay.

In the collaboration with Massimo Pinzani, the research groups at Engitix Ltd and NeuroVive will assess the anti-fibrotic properties of NV556 by using Engitix’ human liver 3D models. The models offer an important opportunity to evaluate and validate effects in appropriate pathophysiological conditions.

“Fibrosis is a critical part of the progression of several liver diseases including NASH, and I look forward to further study the anti-fibrotic effects of NeuroVive’s new drug compounds and how they may contribute to fill the unmet medical need in this area”, said Prof. Massimo Pinzani.

"I am very pleased that Philippe Gallay and Massimo Pinzani have joined our efforts in advancing the research and development of our NASH and HCC treatment opportunities" said Magnus Hansson, chief medical officer at NeuroVive. "Their scientific guidance as experts in the field of liver disease mechanisms and clinical management will be most valuable in the continued development of our project pipeline, as well as in the ultimate positioning of our candidate drugs in the future treatment landscape.”

Philippe Gallay is Professor of Immunology at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the well esteemed Scripps Research Institute in California, US. Phillipe Gallay and NeuroVive has previously worked together with the company’s cyclophilin inhibitor platform, a research effort that focused on the most potent cyclophilin inhibitor so far developed, NV556.

Massimo Pinzani is Professor of Medicine, clinical hepatologist and Director of the University College London (UCL) Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, UK. He also holds the prestigious chair of the Sheila Sherlock Liver Centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London and he is the Chairman of Engitix Ltd.

Engitix Ltd is a spin-out from the UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, based at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Engitix is using its proprietary human organ decellularization technology to develop tissue engineered products for application in regenerative medicine and drug target research.

Liver cancer includes two major types: hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic bile duct cancer. HCC is the sixth most-common type of cancer and the third most-common cause of death worldwide. HCC patients have a high medical need for new and effective treatment alternatives.

NeuroVive’s NVP024 project is focused on the company’s new generation of sanglifehrin-based compounds which have shown potent inhibitory effects on HCC cells and anti-cancer activity in an experimental model of HCC.

Fatty liver, fibrosis and inflammation are hallmarks of NASH, a condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. There is a strong link between NASH and other metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. About 3-5% of all Americans (about 15 million people) suffer from NASH and there are currently no registered treatments.

NV556 is a potent cyclophilin inhibitor in NeuroVive’s Sangamide class of compounds. NV556 has shown an inhibitory effect on fibrosis development in an experimental model of NASH. NVP022 is a novel class of compounds that has a completely different mode of action than NV556 that may complement NV556 in the treatment of NASH. NVP022 is targeting mitochondrial metabolic pathways in NASH.

NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB is a leader in mitochondrial medicine. The company is committed to the discovery and development of medicines that preserve mitochondrial integrity and function in areas of unmet medical need.


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