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Cantabio Pharmaceuticals Awarded Grant From The Michael J. Fox Foundation to Develop Novel Small-Molecule Aggregation Inhibitors of the Tau Protein for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Wednesday, 05 January 2022 10:15 AM

Cantabio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Grant enables the further development of Cantabio's novel small-molecule tau protein aggregation inhibitors, which have high therapeutic potential in both disease-modifying and preventive contexts for the treatment of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

PALO ALTO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / January 5, 2022 / Cantabio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Cantabio" or the "Company"), a preclinical stage pharmaceutical company developing disease-modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Type II diabetes, today announced that The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) has awarded the Company a major grant for a project entitled "Development of small-molecule inhibitors to reduce the aggregation of tau for the treatment of Parkinson's disease." This grant supports the Company's ongoing tau protein-targeting small-molecule pharmacological chaperone therapeutic program aiming to prevent and reduce the aggregation of tau protein as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of AD, PD and tauopathies in general.

The concurrent accumulation, in the form of fibrillar deposits, of alpha-synuclein (a-syn) into Lewy bodies and hyperphosphorylated tau into neurofibrillary tangles in patients' brains is a common pathological feature of PD and AD. Studies in mice have so far shown that a-syn fibril pathology formation may be independent of endogenous tau, while a-syn is a modulator of tau pathology burden and spreading. The premise of this project is that small-molecule drug candidates that reduce the aggregation of tau will diminish neurodegeneration and slow the progression of PD and AD.

Cantabio has been developing small molecules (pharmacological chaperones) that bind to the monomeric form of tau and thereby reduce its aggregation through stabilizing and promoting its functional monomeric native state. This strategy could delay or stop the initial steps of oligomer formation and lead to the reduction and elimination of toxic tau oligomers and fibrils. Cantabio's tau-targeting pharmacological chaperones could directly (or allosterically) compete with a-syn in interacting with tau monomers thereby reducing the affinity of the tau:a-syn interaction and ultimately tau aggregation.

The MJFF-funded project aims to develop a novel small-molecule tau aggregation inhibitor with validated activity in PD-relevant tau aggregation in vitro, cell and in vivo models that has high therapeutic potential in both disease-modifying and preventive contexts for the treatment of PD and AD.

Marco Baptista, PhD, MJFF Vice President of Research Programs commented, "A therapy to reduce tau aggregation would have application in Parkinson's and across other brain diseases. We are proud to support Cantabio's approach targeting this pathology and building potential to slow or prevent progression for millions of people."

Cantabio's CEO, Dr. Gergely Tóth stated, "The importance of the aggregation of the tau protein in context of the onset and the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD) has received limited research focus, although neurofibrillary tangles are a pathological hallmark of PD. We are pleased to have the support of The Michael J. Fox Foundation to explore the efficacy of Cantabio's novel small-molecule tau aggregation inhibitors in PD models. These studies may enable the development of this therapeutic approach for the treatment of both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases."

About the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today. The Foundation supports research across basic, translational and clinical science to speed breakthroughs that can lead to the creation of new treatments and a better quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease. It has funded $1.5B in research programs to date.

About Cantabio Pharmaceuticals

Cantabio is focused on bringing novel, disease modifying, first-in-class drug candidates into clinical trials through the discovery and development of innovative pharmacological chaperone and protein delivery-based therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD) and Type II Diabetes. Through its in-house drug discovery programs, Cantabio is targeting the reduction of biochemical stress such as protein aggregation, oxidative and glyoxal stress, the root causes of various aging-associated diseases. More information is available at


Company Contact:
Gergely Tóth, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Cantabio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
[email protected]

SOURCE: Cantabio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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