CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — January 17, 2019 Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals, leaders in stress granule biology that afflict a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders, announced today that it has been awarded $750,000 from the Tau Pipeline Enabling Program (T-PEP) to advance its drug development programs in tauopathy diseases, including Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Fronto-temporal Dementia. T-PEP is a partnership between the Alzheimer’s Association and the Tau Consortium; a program of the Rainwater Charitable Foundation to explore new ways to prevent, reduce or remove pathological tau from the brain. Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals is the only company recipient and one of 5 awardees selected from 125 applications, to receive funding from the $3 million grant.

Glenn Larsen, Ph.D., President and CEO of Aquinnah said, “Pioneering work from Aquinnah’s co-founder Dr. Ben Wolozin, has shown that stress granule modulation in the brain represents a new and promising approach towards reducing effects of the toxic protein, tau, by showing improved lifespan and preservation of neurons and memory in mice, with potential application to a wide range of neurodegenerative diseases. Aquinnah has developed neuronal models that replicate human tau stress granule pathology and with this funding, we are screening chemical libraries containing over 250,000 small molecules, to identify molecules that have the potential to be developed as novel drugs. We are very pleased that the reviewers at the Alzheimer’s Foundation and Tau Consortium recognize the work we are doing to bring hope to the millions of people affected by these grave disorders.”

Aquinnah’s unique small molecule approach to the inhibition of tau pathology is through the stress granule protein TIA-1 pathway, where a 33% increase in mouse survival was observed, comparable to ~15 years of human life extension, and the best results ever reported in this human tauopathy model of Alzheimer’s Disease.

About Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals

Aquinnah Pharmaceuticals is harnessing the power of stress granule biology to develop oral small molecule drug candidates in Neurodegenerative Orphan Diseases to prevent TDP-43 disease in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); and tau disease pathology in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, and other diseases including Alzheimer’s disease; by developing inhibitors of stress granule pathology. Aquinnah is financially backed by Pfizer, Inc., AbbVie, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

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George MacDougall
MacDougall Biomedical Communications