University enters agreement with US start-up to develop therapy for Parkinson’s disease

11 October 2013

The University of Melbourne has entered an agreement with US start-up company Procypra Therapeutics LLC to develop a class of drugs for treating neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

A cross-disciplinary team of researchers led by Dr Paul Donnelly (School of Chemistry and Bio21 Institute), Associate Professor Kevin Barnham (Bio21 Institute, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and the Department of Pharmacology) and Associate Professor Anthony White (Department of Pathology) has found that a class of synthetic compounds called copper bis (thiosemicarbazones) can potentially treat Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Motor Neuron Disease.

Professor Frances Separovic, Head of the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne, welcomed the agreement and Procypra adopting the University’s multidisciplinary approach to develop a treatment for the disease.

“This agreement reflects the desire for innovative research at The University of Melbourne to be translated into impact and recognises the importance of working with academic collaborators, like the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and industry partners to achieve this goal,” she said.

Procypra is a US start-up established by Collaborative Medicinal Development LLC (CMD), a pharmaceutical development vehicle under the umbrella of US-based Cthulhu Ventures LLC. The company anticipates that the first in-human clinical trials will begin within three years. The University will receive royalty payments form the sale of products by Procypra under the agreement.

Read the full media release.

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