SAN DIEGO, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Celladon Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative treatments for cardiovascular diseases, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice of allowance for U.S. Patent Application No.: 13/145,787 with claims that cover methods for identifying compounds that modulate Sarco/Endoplamic Reticulum Calcium ATPase (SERCA) and methods for identifying compounds that modulate the SERCA/phospholamban complex using Celladon's proprietary fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay.
The patent, titled "Fluorescence resonance energy transfer assays for sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase and phospholamban" is expected to issue later this year and is expected to provide a patent term to January, 2030. The inventor of the patent is Dr David D. Thomas of the University of Minnesota and is jointly owned by Celladon and the University of Minnesota. Celladon retains an exclusive license to use, develop, and commercialize this patent.
Using this proprietary FRET screening assay, Celladon has developed a broad platform of novel, first-in-class, small molecule allosteric modulators of the SERCA2b enzyme - generating drug candidates targeting diseases associated with ER stress-related pathways such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.
"This is a key patent allowance in Celladon's evolving patent portfolio covering our small molecule program targeting SERCA enzymes. The SERCA2b/ER stress pathway provides multiple opportunities for drug discovery and development in a number of disease areas with great unmet need. This allowance further strengthens Celladon's leading position of generating active compounds in this emerging field" said Krisztina Zsebo Ph.D., President and CEO of Celladon Corp. "We will continue the pursuit of additional patents relevant to our products and technologies on a global basis," finished Dr. Zsebo.
About Celladon's small molecule program
The initial focus of Celladon's SERCA small molecule program is the treatment of diabetes. It is now becoming recognized that obesity disrupts intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, leading to the accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER. A high level of ER Ca2+ is imperative for maintenance of normal ER function and this high Ca2+ concentration of ER is maintained by sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA). Signs of ER stress have been found in liver and adipose tissue of obese mice and mice fed high-fat diets. Accumulating evidence suggests that ER stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of diabetes, contributing to pancreatic b-cell failure and insulin resistance. ER stress may also act as a link between obesity and insulin resistance in liver and adipose tissue, raising the intriguing possibility that the cellular ER stress response is a common mechanism for both b-cell dysfunction and defective insulin signaling in type 2 diabetes.
Celladon's novel approach is to develop pharmacological agents which correct this Ca2+ imbalance in the ER, via small molecule, allosteric SERCA2b agonists. These agents increase the Vmax of SERCA2b, increase Ca2+ content of the ER, effectively reduce the ER stress response, enhance glucose tolerance, and reduce hepatosteatosis.
Celladon is a privately held biotechnology company founded with the goal of becoming the leader in developing molecular therapies for the treatment of heart failure and cardiac diseases. The company's lead product, MYDICAR, targets the key enzyme deficiency in advanced heart failure, SERCA2a, which regulates calcium cycling and contractility in heart muscle cells. A recent Phase 2 clinical trial demonstrated sustained improvement at one year in cardiac function parameters and quality of life. A 200 patient Phase 2b study of MYDICAR was initiated in August, 2012. Celladon also conducts pre-clinical research on a proprietary platform of small molecule activators of SERCA enzymes for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Further information can be found at www.celladon.net.
SOURCE Celladon Corporation