Finnish drug discovery company Herantis Pharma has initiated a non-invasive CDNF development program to broaden its application in Parkinson’s disease.
The company has also signed a licensing agreement with the University of Helsinki to gain the worldwide, exclusive rights for the therapeutic application of a non-invasive CDNF approach based on a modification of the natural CDNF.
Herantis is currently evaluating natural CDNF in a Phase 1-2 clinical study at three European university hospitals.
In the study, CDNF is injected directly into the brain using a delivery system suited for Parkinson’s disease patients.
Building on Herantis’ drug development expertise, the company will advance also the non-invasive CDNF to translate the new discoveries into clinical programs.
“Non-invasive CDNF is an important expansion to our existing patent estate and strengthens the profile and value of our CDNF program,” said CEO Pekka Simula.
“Our focus as a company is to develop our unique clinical assets for patients in need. Identifying innovative opportunities to improve the technology and expand the application potential is part of our core strategy.
“Based on broad and robust preclinical data, we believe CDNF can make a significant difference in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and we look forward to exploring the new possibilities a non-invasive administration could offer to provide the best product for the benefit of patients.”
CDNF is a potent neuroprotective factor that promotes neuronal survival. In preclinical proof-of-concept studies CDNF has demonstrated beneficial effects in Parkinson’s disease alleviating both motor and non-motor symptoms and stopping disease progression.
Herantis’ non-invasive CDNF development program is currently in discovery stage. Target indications for possible future clinical development have not been disclosed.