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Cognosci, Inc. Receives Funding for Advanced Testing of Lead Drug Candidate for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
5/22/2010 12:55:58 PM
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., May 18, 2010 - Cognosci Inc. is pleased to announce funding support from Fast Forward, LLC, a not-for-profit organization established by the U.S. National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The award of funds will help support Cognosci's evaluation of our lead compound for the treatment of MS to promote myelin repair in the central nervous system in laboratory models of MS. "We are delighted to gain this funding, as well as to be recognized by Fast Forward and EMD Serono, for our leadership in the development of compounds to promote repair of nerve cells damaged by Multiple Sclerosis," said Dr. Michael Vitek, CEO of Cognosci.
The award from Fast Forward and EMD Serono, which provides US $330,000 over 12 months, is one of the first given in the Accelerating Commercial Development program that is designed to accelerate the development of research discoveries into new or improved therapies for people with multiple sclerosis.
"The promise of current research like that undertaken by Cognosci to change the MS landscape is exciting, and it fuels the collaboration between Fast Forward and EMD Serono in advancing science in key areas of focus to speed the development of new therapies and innovations to benefit people living with MS. We are proud to be able to provide resources for those working to end MS and look forward to the seeing the results stemming from these projects," said Dr. Timothy Coetzee, President of Fast Forward.
The receipt of these awards adds new collaborative investigators at Duke University and at Vanderbilt University to the extensive roster of academic collaborators for Cognosci. Dale Christensen, Cognosci's VP of Research and Business Development stated, "Our collaborators provide Cognosci with a great level of valuable expertise that allows us to evaluate the therapeutic and mechanistic properties of our compounds in a way that we could not pursue on our own. Each time a collaborator reports positive data, it provides external validation of the utility of Cognosci's compounds to treat disease."
COG112 is the lead product for MS from Cognosci's proprietary apolipoprotein E-based drug development platform. This compound acts by modulating the inflammatory response and by promoting regrowth and remyelination of damaged nerves. Protective effects of COG112 have been shown in animal models of MS, nerve crush, and spinal cord injury. Cognosci is currently performing toxicology and safety studies for COG112 in preparation for initiation of human clinical trials.
About Fast Forward, LLC
Fast Forward, LLC, established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as part of a comprehensive approach to MS research and treatment, focuses on speeding promising research discoveries towards commercial drug development. Fast Forward accelerates the development of treatments for MS by connecting university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and by funding small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative new MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS. For more information, please visit www.fastforward.org.
About Cognosci Inc.
Cognosci Inc. was founded in May 2000 to develop anti-inflammatory compounds for treatment of neuroinflammatory diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's Disease, intracranial hemorrhage, and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Each of these disorders has a pharmacogenomic linkage to the apolipoprotein-E gene. Cognosci's platform for identification of compounds to treat these disorders has produced compounds that are efficacious in animal models of each of these disease indications. The company currently has preclinical toxicology studies ongoing for two lead candidates, and aims to initiate Phase I human testing within the next year.
About MS and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS is a chronic, unpredictable neurological disease that affects the central nervous system. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, meaning the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. These problems may be permanent or may come and go. The National MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families to move their lives forward. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.