A made-in-Canada treatment for one of the world’s most devastating diseases could be closer to patients thanks to a new technology developed at UBC and licensed to Cangene Corporation.
Following the successful research collaboration with the inventor, Dr. Neil Cashman at UBC, Cangene recently obtained commercial rights to the technology platform and plans to advance the program in its pipeline to explore treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dr. Cashman’s discovery will allow Cangene to advance an immune therapeutic treatment approach to Alzheimer’s by targeting the toxic form of Amyloid-beta with the potential to directly impact the disease mechanism of action. Current treatment options are limited and the number of individuals afflicted with this degenerative disease is growing rapidly as the population ages, currently estimated to be 25 million worldwide.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Cashman who is an expert in misfolded protein diseases and help advance his ground-breaking research in Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Dr. Laura Saward, Cangene’s chief scientific officer. “While this work is in its early stages, it is showing promise for the development of a novel immunotherapy to address this devastating disease and fits Cangene’s refocused strategy.”
The Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) is an important sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Disease program. The discoveries made by Dr. Cashman were supported by research funding through CIHR and further advanced through a research collaboration between UBC, the federally-funded Prionet Network Centre of Excellence and Cangene, UBC’s pharmaceutical industry partner.
“This is an all-Canadian solution in terms of its discovery, development and advancement towards the clinic,” noted Dr. J.P. Heale, Associate Director of UBC’s University-Industry Liaison Office. “The partnerships developed to advance Dr. Cashman’s outstanding research are an excellent example of how Canadian universities, funding agencies and industry partners can work together to tackle a devastating disease of national and global importance.”