Lauren Sciences, LLC, which specializes in medicines for neurodegenerative disorders using its V-Smart drug delivery platform, announced that it has received a second grant from the ALS Association to continue developing LAUR-301, a V-Smart nanomedicine targeting brain areas affected by motor neuron death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
LAUR-301, developed using the V-Smart platform nanotechnology, is designed to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) by non-invasive administration, reaching and selectively delivering therapeutic agents into brain areas affected by ALS degeneration, the company said in a press release. The next development stage involves the engineering of LAUR-301 with neurotrophic factors (NTFs), proteins that support the development and maintenance of mature and developing neurons, and which have already demonstrated ALS therapeutic potential. The nanomedicine will be delivered by intravenous administration to disease sites in the central nervous system (CNS) of ALS mice models. Efficacy studies in these ALS models will then be undertaken.
Preclinical studies have shown that LAUR-301 allows NFTs to cross the blood-brain barrier, exerting their beneficial effects directly on affected brain regions. The company believes that its nanomedicine technology has to potential to slow, or reverse, ALS disease.
“Lauren Sciences appreciates The ALS Association’s vote of confidence, and continuation of support, with this second award,” Susan Rosenbaum, JD, chairman & CEO of Lauren Sciences, said in the release. “The ALS Association’s second award confirms successful development of LAUR-301, to date, reaffirms LAUR-301’s ability to overcome challenge of passage across BBB and anticipates LAUR-301’s potential to treat ALS as effective therapeutic. We are also grateful for support of our ALS advisor, Robert H. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of Neurology at U. Mass. Medical School.”
Lauren Sciences intends to apply to enter LAUR-301 into investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies, and proceed human clinical trials.
“The ALS Association is dedicated to finding treatment or cure for ALS,” said Lucie Bruijn, PhD, MBA, chief scientist of the ALS Association. “Trophic factors and other neuroprotective and regenerative agents, that do not get into brain by existing oral or i.v. delivery, have shown potential to protect motor neurons during course of ALS. LAUR-301 has shown ability to deliver therapeutic agents across BBB following systemic administration.”