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New compound for slowing the aging process can lead to novel treatments for brain diseases
Date:12/3/2013

A successful joint collaboration between researchers at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem and the startup company TyrNovo may lead to a potential treatment of brain diseases. The researchers found that TyrNovo's novel and unique compound, named NT219, selectively inhibits the process of aging in order to protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, without affecting lifespan. This is a first and important step towards the development of future drugs for the treatment of various neurodegenerative maladies.

Human neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases share two key features: they stem from toxic protein aggregation and emerge late in life. The common temporal emergence pattern exhibited by these maladies proposes that the aging process negatively regulates protective mechanisms that prevent their manifestation early in life, exposing the elderly to disease. This idea has been the major focus of the work in the laboratory of Dr. Ehud Cohen of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine.

Cohen's first breakthrough in this area occurred when he discovered, working with worms, that reducing the activity of the signaling mechanism conveyed through insulin and the growth hormone IGF1, a major aging regulating pathway, constituted a defense against the aggregation of the Aβ protein which is mechanistically-linked with Alzheimer's disease. Later, he found that the inhibition of this signaling route also protected Alzheimer's-model mice from behavioral impairments and pathological phenomena typical to the disease. In these studies, the path was reduced through genetic manipulation, a method not applicable in humans.

Dr. Hadas Reuveni, the CEO of TyrNovo, a startup company formed for the clinical development of NT219, and Prof. Alexander Levitzki from the Department
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Contact: Jerry Barach
jerryb@savion.huji.ac.il
972-258-82904
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Source:Eurekalert  

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