"A single injection of CDNF into the brain increases survival of animals by 25 percent, improves motor coordination and protects motoneurons in spinal cord in a mouse model of ALS," explains Dr. Voutilainen from the Institute of Biotechnology.
CDNF, a neuroprotective protein originally discovered by Professor Mart Saarma and his team at the University of Helsinki, has recently entered clinical trials on Parkinson’s disease patients. Herantis Pharma Plc has patented CDNF worldwide. The new grant will support preclinical development of CDNF for ALS.
In their unpublished data, Dr. Voutilainen, Professor Dan Lindholm and Professor Saarma discovered that CDNF and its novel variant are promising therapeutic candidates for ALS.
“Our aim is to take CDNF towards clinical trials in collaboration with Herantis Pharma Plc in the coming 3 - 5 years”, says Dr. Voutilainen.
The CDNF-ALS project will be executed by an international consortium that also includes professor Michael Sendtner from the University of Würzburg, Germany and Dr. Brandon Harvey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, USA.
Jane and Aatos Erkko foundation and Academy of Finland have also recently awarded grants for this project.
Research group web site: