Lauren Sciences LLC, a New York biotechnology company that licensed groundbreaking V-Smart® platform nanotechnology from BGU to develop nanomedicines for brain diseases, today announced a third grant from The ALS Association.
The ALS Association grant will support Lauren Sciences' continued development of LAUR-301, its V-Smart® Nanomedicine for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Future success of LAUR-301 is expected to provide an effective new treatment for ALS patients. The company conducts its research and development at Ben-Gurion University.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects motor neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and limited life-prolonging treatments for the disease. More than 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease.
V-Smart® Nanomedicines encapsulate and deliver therapeutic agents across the blood brain barrier (BBB) and into the central nervous system (CNS). LAUR-301 is a V-Smart® Nanomedicine specially designed for ALS, engineered to specifically target, and selectively release at degenerating motor neurons, customized with glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) that has shown potential efficacy for ALS when delivered invasively.
The company expects LAUR-301 to become an FDA-approved effective treatment for ALS that protects against, slows down, or reverses the disease.
"Lauren Sciences appreciates The ALS Association's recognition and confidence," said Susan Rosenbaum, J.D., founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Lauren Sciences. "This ALS Association award confirms LAUR-301's successful development to date and will help us continue to address the greatest medical challenge in brain disease treatment — the non-invasive targeted delivery of therapeutics to the brain. We are also grateful to our ALS medical advisor, Robert H. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of Neurology at U. Mass. Medical School for his support."
"The ALS Association is dedicated to finding treatments or a cure for ALS," said Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., M.B.A., Chief Scientist of The ALS Association. "Trophic factors and other neuroprotective and regenerative agents that do not get into the brain by existing oral or IV delivery, have shown the potential to protect motor neurons during the course of ALS. LAUR-301 has shown the ability to deliver GDNF across the BBB into the brain and spinal cord following systemic administration."
"LAUR-301 has promise as an effective new treatment for ALS patients," said Irwin Hollander, Ph.D., vice president of R&D at Lauren Sciences. "LAUR-301 will likely be a disease-modifying drug, unlike standard treatments that, in most patients, merely delay disease progression. Lauren Sciences goal is clinical validation and approval of LAUR-301, which will, ultimately improve ALS patients' lives."
Lauren Sciences is also developing V-Smart® targeted therapeutics -- V-Smart® Nanomedicines -- for central nervous system, neurodegenerative, rare/orphan brain diseases, including, Parkinson's, brain cancer (GBM), and Alzheimer's disease.