Nine Square Therapeutics Awarded $4.5 Million Grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to Advance Development of Novel Parkin Activators
~ Nine Square is building a diversified portfolio of first-in-class drug candidates for genetically validated targets along the autophagy/lysosomal pathway ~
~ The company has identified compounds that promote Parkin activity to induce clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria with the goal to protect dopaminergic neurons ~
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nine Square Therapeutics, a biotechnology company discovering novel small molecules to treat severe neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that it has been awarded a research grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). The grant, valued at $4.5 million, will be used to accelerate the development of novel Parkin activators for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
“The Michael J. Fox Foundation grant will go toward accelerating the identification of drug candidates that may one day deliver meaningful benefits to people with PD,” said Tina Schwabe, Ph.D., vice president and head of biology of Nine Square Therapeutics. “In preclinical testing, our Parkin activators have demonstrated the ability to promote mitochondrial turnover and improve mitochondrial function in cellular models of Parkinson’s disease. We look forward to using these funds to advance the nomination of our clinical candidate.”
Mutations in Parkin, an intracellular protein that regulates mitochondrial quality control by selectively promoting the degradation of dysfunctional mitochondria, are strongly associated with early-onset PD. Nine Square has developed small molecule candidates that promote Parkin activity to induce clearance of dysfunctional mitochondria and thereby protect dopaminergic neurons.
“Research in neurodegenerative disease is experiencing rapid innovation, and MJFF is pleased to support researchers at emerging companies like Nine Square that have a differentiated approach to drug and target discovery and are committed to ushering in a brighter future for patients around the globe,” said Jessica Tome Garcia, Ph.D., associate director of research programs at MJFF.
Nine Square was founded by life sciences venture capital firm Apple Tree Partners (ATP) and renowned scientists at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The company was built on the unique premise of converging phenotypic image-based cell profiling, computational molecular modeling and chemistry with clinical research to develop better drugs faster. Each of the founders is a leading authority in their respective fields, including computer-aided drug design, computational structural biology, biophysics and applying machine learning and AI to experimental data.
The meeting of these disciplines, coupled with a differentiated approach to clinical observations and discovery, uniquely positions Nine Square to overcome the historical challenges of treating neurodegenerative diseases to develop better drugs for better targets.
About Nine Square Therapeutics
Nine Square Therapeutics is a biotechnology company integrating phenotypic cell profiling, chemistry and computational sciences in a quest to alter the trajectory of neurodegenerative disease. Founded by life sciences venture capital firm Apple Tree Partners (ATP) and renowned scientists at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Nine Square’s goal is to discover better drugs, faster. The company’s platform is currently focused on boosting autophagy/mitophagy, the body’s own cellular degrading machinery, with programs initially focused on Parkinson’s disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and lysosomal storage diseases.
The Grace Communication Group