Cantabio Pharmaceuticals receives grant from Michael J. Fox Foundation to develop a novel DJ-1 protein-based biomarker for Parkinson's Disease

Grant enables the development of new detection technologies for DJ-1 in biofluids to create a new biomarker for the potential early diagnosis and tracking of the progression of Parkinson's disease

PALO ALTO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / September 16, 2020 / Cantabio Pharmaceuticals Inc. . ("Cantabio" or the "Company"), a preclinical stage pharmaceutical company developing disease modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD) and Type II diabetes, today announced that The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) has awarded the Company a grant entitled "Development of Assays to Quantify DJ-1 in Distinct Oxidized States of Cys106 as a Potential Biomarker for Parkinson's Disease". This grant supports the Company's ongoing DJ-1 focused biomarker research program aiming at allowing early diagnosis and tracking the progress of PD.

Currently no available clinical biomarkers exist for PD, so this is an area of critical unmet need both in the early detection and treatment of the disease, and for the development of disease modifying therapeutics. The project targets DJ-1, a protein genetically linked to early-onset of familial Parkinson's disease (PD) that acts as a vital defensive protein, protecting cells from damage caused by biochemical stress such as oxidative and glyoxal stress and protein aggregation. Biochemical stress is a causal factor in a number of disease areas, notably neurodegenerative disorders such as PD, as well as AD, Type 2 diabetes and diseases related to aging. The project aims to develop tools that are able to measure the relative concentration of DJ-1 in distinct oxidized states, and ultimately correlate these with a patient's risk of developing sporadic PD, and/or to diagnose in the early stages of the disease before the motor symptoms can be detected, through the use of a simple biofluid test. The ability to detect this pre-symptomatic disease phase is the key to therapeutic efforts to develop medicines for preventing or treating PD. The project will utilize Cantabio's unique understanding of DJ-1 biology and ability to accurately discriminate between the different functional states of DJ-1 related to disease progression. Overall, it is hoped that the outcome of the project will potentially improve early diagnosis as well as support the development of new drugs for PD.

Cantabio's CEO, Dr. Gergely Tóth stated, "A critical need exists for a way to diagnose Parkinson's disease early at the pre-symptomatic stage and track disease progression. Therefore, we are excited to have the support of The Michael J. Fox Foundation in our efforts to develop novel technologies to develop a DJ-1 based biomarker for Parkinson's, which has the potential to be used for tracking disease progression and in early diagnoses."

Mark Frasier, Senior Vice President, Research Programs at MJFF says, "The Foundation believes in the critical importance of biomarkers to early diagnosis and the development of effective treatments for Parkinson's. We have previously supported Dr. Toth's research on the DJ-1 target, and we look forward to the results from this latest project."

About Cantabio Pharmaceuticals

Cantabio is focused on bringing novel, first-in-class drug candidates into clinical trials and beyond through the discovery and development of innovative pharmacological chaperone and protein delivery-based therapeutics aimed at reducing the effects of biochemical stress such as protein aggregation, oxidative and glyoxal stress, the root causes of various diseases. Cantabio's programs focus on protein systems implicated in neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, as well as Type II diabetes. The company is currently engaged in advanced pre-clinical studies of its therapeutic candidates and is focused on developing these towards clinical trials. More information is available at


Company contact:
Thomas Sawyer, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Cantabio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

SOURCE: Cantabio Pharmaceuticals Inc.


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