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ALS Therapy Development Institute and Anida Pharma Partner to Investigate Potential Treatments for ALS
Date:9/10/2013

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) announced today that it has entered into a research partnership with Anida Pharma, Inc., to investigate a potential treatment for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.   

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Under the terms of the agreement with Anida, ALS TDI will test their lead compound, Neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1), in SOD1 mice for functional benefit.  NPD1, also referred to as Protectin D1 (PD1), activates resolution circuits to control neuroinflammation and prevent cell death, but also has trophic effects. To date, ALS TDI has conducted preclinical proof of concept studies with NPD1 in SOD1 mice. Through these pharmacodynamic studies, ALS TDI has demonstrated that it can deliver pharmacologically active levels of NPD1 to the central nervous system of the SOD1 mice, providing sufficient evidence to move it forward for additional preclinical testing.

"This partnership is yet another example of how our Institute, which is quite literally led by ALS patients and their families, identifies opportunities that otherwise may not get evaluated as a potential treatment for ALS," says Steve Perrin, Ph.D., CEO and CSO of ALS TDI. "It really is about moving as quickly as possible for patients today, and we are committed to doing just that through this partnership with Anida and the more than two dozen other programs our experienced drug development team is simultaneously working on at the Institute."

Anida marks the 12th venture philanthropy investment ALS TDI has made. Since 2007, ALS TDI has made more than $5 million of venture philanthropy investments in small biotechs like Anida Pharma. Previous venture philanthropy investments have been made with to-BBB, Neurotune, Regenesance, Glialogix, Aestus and others under confidential agreements.

"The possibility to partner with ALS TDI as a world-leading institute for ALS research is an extraordinary opportunity for Anida to accelerate its ALS drug development program towards the clinic. We believe that based on its unique property of multiple actions: regulating inflammation and cell death, but also exerting neurotrophic effects, NPD1 offers an exciting potential for the treatment of ALS," says Per Gjorstrup, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Anida Pharma. 

About ALS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cure for the disease. About 5,000 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year; the incidence is similar to multiple sclerosis. However, with no effective treatment, the average patient survives only two to five years following diagnosis. There are about 30,000 people in the US diagnosed with ALS today. The worldwide population of ALS patients is estimated at 450,000.

About ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI)
The mission of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is to develop effective therapeutics that slow or stop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease) as soon as possible for patients today. Focused on meeting this urgent unmet medical need, ALS TDI executes a robust target discovery program, while simultaneously operating the world's largest efforts to preclinically determine the efficacy of potential therapeutics, including a pipeline of dozens of small molecules, protein biologics, gene therapies and cell-based constructs. The world's first nonprofit biotech institute, ALS TDI employs 30 professional scientists, evaluates dozens of potential therapeutics each year and is currently executing a Phase IIA clinical trial of TDI-132 (Novartis' Gilenya®) in ALS patients.  Built by and for patients, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based research institute collaborates with leaders in both academia and industry to accelerate ALS therapeutic development, including Biogen Idec, UCB, the Gladstone Institutes, MDA and RGK Foundation. For more information, please visit us online at www.als.net.

About Anida Pharma
Anida Pharma, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel first-in-class therapies to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig disease), Parkinson's disease, other central nervous system disorders, and hearing loss. Our therapeutic concept is based on activating the body's own homeostatic mechanisms to regulate inflammation, prevent cell death and stimulate tissue repair. Visit our website: www.anidapharma.com to learn more.

Media Contacts:
Mari Sullivan, ALS TDI, 617-441-7220, msullivan@als.net
Per Gjorstrup, Anida Pharma, 617-331-5033, pgjorstrup@anidapharma.com


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SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute
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