BLUE BELL, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mitochon Pharmaceuticals today announced that it was awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to help develop its mitochondrial targeted compounds for treating Parkinson’s disease. The funding will go to pivotal animal studies to assess the benefits of Mitochon’s compounds in ameliorating the deficits associated with dopaminergic neuron loss, the hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. If successful, Mitochon’s compounds, MP101 ad MP201 could be in patients as early as 2019.
“We are delighted to receive funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the preeminent institution in the field of Parkinson’s research. By harnessing the power of the mitochondria, our compounds are able to protect cells from the destructive effects of age-related degeneration. Importantly, this funding will pave the way for human clinical development, with the hope of helping the millions of people with Parkinson’s disease,” said Robert Alonso, co-founder and CEO of Mitochon.
“Abnormalities in the mitochondrial processes can have severe consequences for the function and survival of dopamine neurons in people with PD,” says Shalini Padmanabhan, PhD, Associate Director of Research Programs at MJFF. “The Foundation supports Mitochon’s work toward discovery and development of mitochondrial-targeted therapies to speed breakthroughs for patients.”
MP101 and MP201 are mitochondrial targeted, once-a-day, oral therapies that have been shown to shield cells from damage caused by a host of degenerative processes (genetic and non-genetic, auto-immune and injury). In preclinical studies, these compounds have exhibited striking protective and functional benefits in disease models. These include: brain volume sparing in Huntington’s disease; axonal protection from demyelination in Multiple Sclerosis and dopaminergic neuron loss in Parkinson’s disease. To understand the critical step of translation, Mitochon will initiate Phase I studies in normal healthy volunteers in 2018 and is expected to be in Phase II studies in 2019.
About Mitochon Pharmaceuticals
Mitochon was founded in 2014 with the mission to develop treatments for insidious diseases through the modulation of mitochondrial physiology, with applications to neurodegeneration, neuromuscular, and developmental diseases. Mitochon’s lead programs, MP101 and MP201, specifically harnesses the power of the mitochondria to provide broad neural protection. These compounds elicit mild increases in energy expenditure that result in strengthening cellular survival – similar to the positive effects seen with fasting and exercise. These compounds also induce an important neurotrophin, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), involved in cognition and neural growth. Additional Information: www.mitochonpharma.com
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, industry leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $750 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. The Foundation increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tools Fox Trial Finder and Fox Insight; sponsors a landmark, international study to find reliable and consistent biomarkers of Parkinson’s progression; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile events and outreach; advocates for state and federal policies that support medical research and increased access to health care; and coordinates the involvement of thousands of Team Fox members and grassroots volunteers around the world.