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A model mouse
October 2015
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author
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HALLE, Germany—Probiodrug AG, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutic solutions to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD), announced in early September an agreement to license its TBA2.1 tg Mouse to QPS Austria Neuropharmacology, a contract research organization (CRO) focused on central nervous system drug development that is based in Grambach, Austria.
 
The transgenic mouse model has been developed, characterized and patented by Probiodrug, primarily as part of efforts to establish a new therapeutic concept of reducing brain pyroglutamate-modified Abeta (pGlu-Abeta) in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Licensing this model to QPS Austria Neuropharmacology makes it accessible to a wider community of academic and industry research groups, Probiodrug noted in announcing the deal.
 
“Characterization and use of this model has been extremely useful for our understanding of the involvement of pGlu-Abeta in the initiation and progression of AD,” according to Hans-Ulrich Demuth, co-founder and former chief scientific officer of Probiodrug. “This model is only one of a set of new AD-like models developed by Probiodrug to establish a comprehensive validation of pGlu-Abeta as a potential target to treat Alzheimer’s disease and to extensively profile potential drug candidates. I’m very pleased about the collaboration of Probiodrug with QPS to thereby offer our TBA2.1 mouse model to the wider AD and neurodegeneration research.”
 
Probiodrug has thus far progressed two complementary strategies for tackling pGlu-Abeta with two medicine candidates in development: PQ912, a small-molecule inhibitor of glutaminyl cyclase, now in Phase 2 clinical trials, and PBD‑C06, a pGlu-Abeta-specific mAB that is still in the preclinical stage.
 
The TBA2.1 transgenic mouse model overexpresses pGlu-Abeta in neurons and is suitable to model neuronal loss and neurodegeneration, characteristics typical for disease progression, Probiodrug noted in the announcement, adding, “These mice represent the most rapid murine model of Abeta induced cognitive impairment, demonstrating the highly toxic nature of pGlu-Abeta.”
 
Birgit Hutter-Paier, director neuropharmacology at QPS Austria, noted of the deal that “We are optimistic about this model being perfectly complementary to QPS’ current range of animal models for AD drug research. Transgenic animals are still among the most crucial tools to investigate drug candidates for the treatment of AD. The TBA2.1 mouse model will be a valuable addition to our portfolio of mouse models addressing the increasingly multifaceted APP [amyloid precursor protein] pathology, which still has a prominent and highly relevant position in the field.”
 
Though Probiodrug is now focused on the development of new therapeutic products for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, the company—founded in 1997—is well known for successfully developing a novel therapeutic concept for diabetes: DP4 inhibitors, which provided the basis for a novel class of antidiabetics known as gliptins. The company’s core capabilities are based on its longstanding expertise in the elucidation of the structure and function of enzymes involved in the modification of proteins and peptides, which play a central role in pathological conditions.
 
QPS Austria is a full-service CRO that performs preclinical as well as clinical research. The Neuropharmacology department that licensed Probiodrug’s mouse model focuses on drug development for neurodegenerative diseases.
 
Code: E101514

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