SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., a leader in the discovery and development of innovative biologics, and Fast Forward, LLC, a subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, today announced an alliance to fund the development of a FivePrime pre-clinical stage therapeutic candidate for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Fast Forward will commit up to $1 million to fund the advancement of the therapeutic candidate.
Under the terms of the agreement Fast Forward will provide funds to enable pre-clinical testing of a proprietary and innovative biological molecule discovered at FivePrime. This biologic targets specific cells of the innate immune system, a mechanism that differentiates this potential therapy from the approved treatments for MS. The innate immune system is a component of the body’s immune system and recent research has suggested that it contributes to disease activity in both relapsing remitting and progressive forms of MS.
“We are delighted to be able to work with Fast Forward in order to bring new treatments to people with MS. MS is an important area of innovation and focus at FivePrime,” said Brian Wong, MD, PhD, vice president, immunology and discovery research at FivePrime. “Fast Forward’s support provides important validation of FivePrime’s powerful discovery engine and the company’s growing pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic biologics."
“We are pleased to partner with FivePrime to accelerate the development of new treatments for people with MS. Their high-caliber scientists have identified a new treatment strategy which should be explored further,” adds Dr. Timothy Coetzee, president of Fast Forward. “Five Prime’s approach fits well with our strategy of supporting innovative and promising new treatments for MS.”
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.
Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage, privately-held company discovering and developing innovative protein and antibody therapeutics. FivePrime is currently in Phase I with FP-1039 for solid tumors. Using its world-class biologics discovery platform, FivePrime is building a strong product pipeline in oncology, immunology and metabolic diseases. It has built a unique suite of technologies to selectively mine the entire extracellular human proteome – the complete collection of secreted proteins and receptors - for medically relevant therapeutic protein drugs. FivePrime is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. in the fields of oncology and diabetes. For more information, visit www.fiveprime.com.
About Fast Forward, LLC
Fast Forward, LLC is a nonprofit organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in order to accelerate the development of treatments for MS. Fast Forward will accomplish its mission 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.
About The National Multiple Sclerosis Society
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 move their lives forward. We are people who want to do something about MS now, and are dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.
Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc.
Stephanie Andrade, 415-365-5719
Fast Forward, LLC
Arney Rosenblat, 212-476-0436