Los Angeles, CA --December 1, 2017-- AcuraStem (www.acurastem.com), an emerging leader in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) precision-medicine-based drug discovery located in Los Angeles, California, has been awarded a $225 thousand Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant (R43AG058325) by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will fund continued research of AcuraStem’s laboratory models of age-associated ALS, supporting the evaluation of different molecular methods to create motor neurons in the laboratory that more accurately reproduce the ALS disease state in aged patients. These models will be incorporated into AcuraStem’s iNeuroRx platform to improve understanding of the molecular mechanisms of late-onset ALS disease progression and facilitate the discovery of new therapeutic entities to treat ALS.
The NIA SBIR program is a highly competitive program that seeks to transform early-stage scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit by catalyzing private sector commercialization of technological innovations. Collaboration is one of the most effective means of catalyzing research, and AcuraStem partners closely with companies of similar interests that can provide motor neuron efficacy and patient stratification data prior to the initiation of clinical trials.
As part of the NIA grant, AcuraStem will advance several improvements to its iNeuroRx platform and extend subawards from the grant to drug discovery companies and academic labs specializing in neuroscience therapeutics. AcuraStem will leverage collaborators' ALS gene expression to evaluate iNeuroRx’s novel "disease in a dish" and artificial intelligence analysis methods.
“Our ultimate objective at AcuraStem is to advance a therapeutic portfolio to the clinic to treat ALS patients where limited therapies currently exist," said Sam Alworth, CEO at AcuraStem. "Collaborating with like-minded companies is an excellent way to quickly validate our enhanced precision medicine platform to more appropriately target this dreadful disease.”
Incorporating models of age-associated ALS will improve the accuracy of the iNeuroRx platform, and advance AcuraStem's objective to transform drug discovery by applying patient data from the initiation and at every stage of the drug development process. By translating scientific innovations into effective therapies and addressing a highly unmet medical need, AcuraStem's work brings hope for a longer life to patients who currently have limited therapeutic options.
About AcuraStem, Inc.
AcuraStem has developed a breakthrough precision medicine platform called iNeuroRx, which leverages patient stem cells and advanced machine learning technology to discover drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. AcuraStem has utilized this platform to identify innovative ALS targets and has generated a preclinical lead candidate (AS-1) that they are advancing to the clinic. AS-1 has strong genetic validation, a novel mechanism of action, and demonstrated proof of concept in animal studies.
SOURCE AcuraStem, Inc.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "should," "potential," "continue," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions. The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements include, among others, AcuraStem’s ability to successfully leverage the motor neuron cellular models developed at AcuraStem. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and AcuraStem does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release on account of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43AG058325. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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