VivaCell Biotechnology España S.L., Cordoba, Spain today announced that it has entered into joint Research Collaboration and Commercialization Agreements with Aphios Corporation, USA, to develop therapeutics for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS).
Multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurodegenerative disease of the CNS, is one of the main causes of irreversible neurologic disability in young adults. MS is notoriously heterogeneous in terms of clinical manifestations and evolution. The disease affects more than 2 million people worldwide, of which an estimated 400,000 are in the US and 500,000 in Europe. According to the Cleveland Clinic, MS-related health care costs are estimated to be over $10 billion per year in the United States. While progress has been made on developing therapeutics for this debilitating disease, there is still a high unmet need for safe and cost-effective therapeutics that can efficiently cross the blood brain barrier.
Aphios and VivaCell have executed research and commercialization agreements to develop these drug candidates through preclinical studies, clinical development and commercialization in the United States and Europe. According to Dr. Trevor P. Castor, President & CEO, Aphios Corporation, “We are jointly developing this novel class of non-psychotropic cannabinoids that could have a significant impact on multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. We will apply our enabling technology platforms to enhance the oral bioavailability of these first in class compounds, bypass first round metabolism in the liver, improve safety and increase therapeutic efficacy.”