PROJECT ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME
The Multiple Sclerosis Project Accelerator, a unique model in Europe among the MS organisations, which streamlines and reduces the risks involved in the transfer of potential products and innovative technologies from academia to companies, and from companies to society.
The input flow of the Accelerator is shown in the following diagram:
Originating from calls and contacts, basic science projects are presented to the GAEM’s Scientific Committee.
With the potential to be transformed into therapies, biomarkers or improvements in quality of life.
In the medium-term (3-7 years).
Fundable with a biotech model.
With an entrepreneur team.
Creation of an entrepreneur team.
Creation of alliances.
PROJECTS UNDER WAY
Project for Cellular Immune Tolerance Therapy
Project performed at the Hospital Clínico in Barcelona and IDIBAPS, which joined the GAEM Foundation’s project accelerator programme in 2012.
Find out more about the project: EUDRA: 2013-005165-39 and ClinicalTrials.org: NCT02283671
A treatment that uses dendritic cells pulsed with myelin peptides to regulate the autoimmune attack on myelin
Clinical phase: in June 2015 Phase Ib in patients with progressive, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica.
Phase II is planned for 2018.
The pre-clinical findings show that the myelin peptides incorporated into 90% of the cells treated, resulting in an improvement of the severity of MS in animals, without any toxic effects.
This treatment would prevent the progression of the disease therefore the physical and cognitive deterioration of MS sufferers.
A specific Scientific Committee has been set up for this project, which is formed by the following members:
Dr. Pablo Villoslada (President): Director of the MS pathogenesis and therapeutics group, IDIBAPS; National Coordinator of the Spanish Network of Excellence in Multiple Sclerosis (REEM), Carlos III Health Institute; member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Society of Neuroimmunology; member of the MS Scientific Advisory Board en el enfoque de las sociedades de Multiple Sclerosis International Federation; a member of the editorial board of the journal PlosOne and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, the International Society of Neuroimmunology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Spanish Society of Neurology and the Catalan Society of Neurology. His research is focused on the system biology analysis of neurological diseases and the translational study of neurology: new therapies and biomarkers. Dr. Villoslada has received several awards and mentions and has written several publications in scientific journals.
Prof. Dr. Roland Martin: An internationally renowned expert in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology, with a focus on the function and development of new immunological treatments. He has previously worked in the universities of Würzburg and Tubinga (Germany), the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (USA), the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Barcelona) and the University of Hamburg (Germany) and is currently working in the MS Neuroimmunology and Research department of the University of Zurich (Switzerland). The focus of his research is on obtaining a greater understanding of the heterogeneity of multiple sclerosis by using imaging techniques (magnetic resonance and optical coherence tomography), biological markers and also of motor function. He studies the mechanisms of multiple sclerosis, focusing particularly on cellular and biochemical immunology. He specializes in areas of unmet medical needs in MS, such as neuroprotection, tolerance induction and regenerative therapies.
Prof. Dr. Lawrence Steinman: Professor of Neurology, Neurological Sciences and Paediatrics at Stanford University, and also President of the Stanford Program in Immunology from 2001 to 2011. His research focuses on the causes of remissions and relapses in MS and NMO, and the search for a specific antigen therapy. He is also developing a small therapeutic molecule for use in Huntington’s disease trials. He was the lead author of the paper published in 1992 that led to the development of Tysabri, a drug approved for treating Crohn’s disease and MS. Prof. Steinman has numerous patents, more than 40. He was also the co-founder of several biotechnology companies. He was Director of Centocor from 1988 until its sale to Johnson & Johnson.
Dr. Christian Von Buedingen: Winner of the Helmut Bauer Prize for Research in Engineering at the University of Göttingen (Germany). His work was funded by NIH / NINDS, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Nancy Davis Foundation for MS Research, Small Ventures USA / Brass Family Foundation, through a donation from the Rachleff Family Foundation, and through scientific collaborations with the industry (Roche, Genentech, and Pfizer). He is a physician-scientist and was Distinguished Professor of Neurology at UCSF III between 2009 and 2016. His research focuses on B cells and antibody-mediated immunity in disorders related to multiple sclerosis. He was a clinical provider for the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of the UCSF from 2009 to 2014. Since 2016 he has held a position in translational medicine (Neuroscience) at the USCF (Switzerland).
Prof. Dr. Heinz Wiendl: Studied psychology and medicine and was a researcher at various centres and universities in Germany, in different departments, including Immunology and Neurology. He was professor of Neurology and Head of the Clinical Research Group for Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology at the University of Würzburg (Germany), Professor and Head of Neurology of Inflammatory Diseases of the Nervous System and Neuro-Oncology at the University of Münster (Germany) and was Dean of Research and Young Scientists at the Medical Faculty in Münster. His research focuses on leukocyte penetration of the blood-brain barrier, the functional interactions between the immune system and the nervous system and the mechanism of TREK1-mediated T lymphocyte transmigration via the blood-brain barrier.
Ankar Pharma is a spin-off of the CSIC which joined the GAEM Foundation’s project accelerator programme in 2014. Find out more about the project at: http://ankarpharma.com
An innovative molecule with a dual action mechanism that favours the replacement of oligodendrocytes (which synthesize myelin).
Pre-clinical phase: Evaluation of efficacy and safety in trials using animals models and human biopsies.
The results obtained in animals show a reduction in neurological symptoms and inflammation, neuroprotection and prevention of the development of the disease.
This drug is capable of replacing the oligodendrocytes destroyed by the immune system, thus enabling myelin production to start again and reversing the effects of MS.
This project is financed by:
Project mentored by:
Bionure Inc. is a startup that originated in the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona–IDIBAPS, with headquarters in Barcelona and San Francisco (USA). To learn more about the project see: http://www.bionure.com
The first molecule of its type that will prevent axonal injury and promote the survival of neural cells and myelin repair.
Once the pre-clinical development is completed, it will enter the clinical phase at the end of 2016 to evaluate efficacy and safety in humans.
The results obtained in animals show a significant reversal of neuron loss, demyelination and axonal damage in various types of MS.
This drug would have neuroprotective effects, restore cell population and promote the remyelination of these cells, which could halt some effects of the disease.
This project is financed by:
Project mentored by:
If you would like to be part of our Project Accelerator Programme please see the terms and conditions and application forms:
Download the files
Terms and Conditions
Information reviewed and validated by: Dra. Marta Príncep.