Cypralis links up with J&J Innovation in neurodegenerative diseases


Cypralis and Janssen Pharmaceuticals aim to develop new cyclophilin inhibitors for neurogenerative diseases

Cypralis is to collaborate with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, on the development of new cyclophilin inhibitors for neurogenerative diseases.

The collaboration was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Cyclophilin inhibitors are non-selective between the four commonly screened cyclophilin isoforms A, B, C and D. Cypralis and Janssen are undertaking a joint research programme to generate a new class of CNS penetrant, selective inhibitors of cyclophilin D applicable to targeting degenerative diseases including CNS degeneration.

The medicinal chemistry and PPIase screening will be sub-contracted to Selcia.

Simon Kerr, CEO of Cypralis, said: 'We are delighted to be collaborating with Janssen in order to develop a novel class of cyclophilin D inhibitors. We are hopeful that this effort will pave the way towards a new approach to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.’

Cypralis was spun out from Ongar, Essex, UK-based Selcia in 2013 to exploit its expertise and know-how in targeting peptidyl-prolyl isomerases (known as PPIases), a large family of druggable protein targets involved in many acute and chronic diseases.

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The firm is a developer of innovative therapeutics through inhibition of PPIases and expects to build upon its existing intellectual property through its own R&D activities and through collaborations with pharma companies, such as Janssen Pharmaceuticals.