Mission Therapeutics, a drug discovery and development company focused on selectively targeting deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) to treat neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and other diseases with high unmet medical need, announced that it has been awarded a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).
This research grant, announced on World Parkinson’s day, will support the testing of Mission Therapeutics’ potent and selective USP30-targeted inhibitors in translationally relevant stem cell-derived Parkinson’s models developed by OPDC PI Professor Richard Wade-Martins and his research group at the University of Oxford.
USP30 has been implicated in the control of mitophagy – a process where dysfunctional mitochondria are selectively cleared from the cell. Failure of mitochondrial quality control may lead to degeneration of the highly active substantia nigra neurons in the brain, a pathological mechanism which results in Parkinson’s disease.
The inhibition of USP30 is being studied by Mission Therapeutics to see if this promotes mitophagy and thus improves cellular resilience in this and other neurodegenerative diseases. The objective of the research collaboration with Professor Richard Wade-Martins is to test Mission’s potent and selective USP30 inhibitors in a range of disease models – induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)-derived from patients with sporadic and familial Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Michael Koslowski, Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Mission Therapeutics, said:
“Receiving funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation is a great accolade, recognizing the quality of the research being done by Mission Therapeutics and Prof. Wade-Martins and his group. The collaborative study will provide key data that will guide the clinical development strategy of our USP30 inhibitor programme. We are working hard to find new ways in which to tackle this difficult disease, which is especially highlighted during this World Parkinson Awareness week, for patients and their families.”