CROWN POINT, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Neurodon Corp. reported that a pharmaceutical industry veteran, who spearheaded the development of blockbuster diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet for Merck, said at the company’s 2nd annual Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting that he is even more enthusiastic about the diabetes therapy it is developing. In addition to controlling blood glucose, the expert said data indicates Neurodon’s investigational diabetes drug restored beta cell health in several models of the disease, something no other drug on the market can do.
Neurodon’s diabetes drug NDC-0009 has the potential to treat both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as pre-diabetes, said John Amatruda, M.D., former senior vice president for diabetes and obesity drug development at Merck. “The drug would be a gamechanger for patients,” Dr Armatruda said.
Orally-available NDC-0009 is one of several first-in-class curative molecules Neurodon is developing for multiple diseases by targeting specific cellular stress pathways.
“We’re gratified for the validation of our hypothesis from such a respected expert with a broad and deep understanding of diabetes drug development,” said Neurodon CEO Russell Dahl, Ph.D. “We hope to continue our rapid-fire progress with positive results, enabling us to begin clinical trials in late 2022,” Dahl said. The company plans to file an investigational new drug (IND) application with the FDA in mid-2022.
Also at Neurodon’s SAB meeting, experts in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as a specialist in cellular calcium regulation, presented their findings from early-stage research on the company’s drugs.
"I’ve been very excited to see new research that shows it’s possible to boost calcium handling since a disruption of calcium levels is such a widespread disease mechanism,” said Seth Robia, Ph.D., a researcher at Loyola School of Medicine and member of Neurodon’s SAB. “It makes me very hopeful for our efforts to develop a therapeutic strategy based on restoring healthy calcium handling," Robia said.
Research findings presented by SAB member and Alzheimer’s expert Ilya Bezprozvanny, Ph.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, showed Neurodon’s compounds protect hippocampal neurons that are destroyed by the disease.
Additionally, D. James Surmeier, Ph.D., a Parkinson’s researcher at Northwestern University and an SAB member, noted that by restoring calcium homeostasis the company’s compounds can feasibly halt neuron loss and hence stop Parkinson’s pathogenesis. This suggests that Neurodon’s candidate has the potential to be the first ever disease-modifying drug for Parkinson’s.
“It is very exciting to see further validation of Neurodon’s unique approach to targeting ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress and calcium imbalance for a variety of disorders,” said Bezprozvanny, the Alzheimer’s expert. “Discussions at the SAB meeting provided interesting mechanistic insights into the company’s approach and helped to put Neurodon’s program in the context of the wider field of drug discovery.”
Neurodon is developing disease-modifying drugs for diabetes, neurodegeneration and other life-threatening conditions. Neurodon deploys its proprietary endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress -based technology platform to discover small molecules that can reduce the cellular dysfunction that is the root cause of many diseases.