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Lauren Sciences LLC awarded second Michael J. Fox Foundation grant to further develop V-Smart™ Therapeutic for Parkinson's disease
Date:6/24/2013

New York, N.Y., June 25, 2013 -- Lauren Sciences LLC, a privately-held biotechnology company continuing development of its novel V-Smart platform technology, announced today the award of a second grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). The company recently completed the first stage of developing V-Smart-based therapeutics for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), which was funded by MJFF, whereby it demonstrated targeted delivery of GDNF (glial-derived neurotrophic factor) to the substantia nigra and the striatum, brain regions in which neurons degenerate during the course of PD. Targeted delivery of GDNF to these brain regions was achieved by systemic administration of the company's V-Smart nanovesicles that were customized for GDNF delivery. The new MJFF grant has been awarded to investigate efficacy of the V-Smart vesicles in a PD animal model.

"We thank The Michael J. Fox Foundation for their second award to us," said Susan Rosenbaum, J.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lauren Sciences. "This new MJFF grant has been awarded following the success of our Parkinson's disease project over the past year, and provides recognition of our innovative V-Smart drug delivery system and its potential to transform the treatment of Parkinson's disease with an effective therapeutic that overcomes the historical challenge of developing drugs that cross the blood brain barrier."

"The delivery method of trophic factors continues to be a challenge in reaching the regions of the brain where neuroprotection and repair is needed," said Jamie Eberling, Ph.D., Senior Associate Director of Research Programs at MJFF. "We are looking forward to seeing if V-Smart is proven effective in the delivery of GDNF as a potential disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's disease."

"Optimized V-Smart vesicles formulated with GDNF have promise as a new treatment for patients," said Irwin Hollander, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development, Lauren Sciences. "We hope it will be able to stop progression of, or reverse, Parkinson's disease, unlike other drugs that provide merely symptomatic relief. It is anticipated that the successful outcome of efficacy studies of our GDNF-loaded V-Smart vesicles in Parkinson's pre-clinical models could lead to future clinical studies in Parkinson's disease patients."

"Our latest studies demonstrate that the novel V-Smart nanovesicles can encapsulate GDNF, cross the BBB and release the encapsulated GDNF in areas of the brain affected by Parkinson's," said Eliahu Heldman, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Lauren Sciences. "Our next goal is to demonstrate that GDNF delivered by V-Smart vesicles is capable of protecting dopaminergic neurons from degeneration in animal model of PD. The success of this project would be an important milestone in the development of GDNF-based therapy for PD that would considerably improve Parkinson's patients' lives."


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Contact: Susan Rosenbaum
srosenbaum@laurensciences.com
212-737-0455
Lauren Sciences LLC
Source:Eurekalert

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