The TRANSCEND project aims to tackle the current limitations of drug development for Parkinson’s Disease by the integration of an innovative in vitro brain organoid model and a humanized in vivo mouse model. This unique two-step platform supports InnoSer’s aspiration in accelerating preclinical research and further exploring neurogenerative diseases as one of its key therapeutic fields.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and affects around 10 million people worldwide. Patient numbers are expected to be doubled within the next 20 years, just like it did in the past 25 years, mostly driven by an aging population. No cure is currently available as a consequence of a challenging drug discovery process. A high failure rate in the clinical phase due to a lack of translatable preclinical drug screening models hampers the development of drugs for PD patients.
With a grant from Eurostars (E!114817) and VLAIO, we are pleased to announce that we have started working on the development of TRANSCEND, a two-step platform combining a novel brain organoid model with a unique humanized mouse model for PD. To develop and validate the platform, InnoSer has partnered with Neurix and the lab of Prof. Dr. Karl Krause from the University of Geneva, both experts in the field of neurodegenerative disease and with extensive expertise in the development of innovative approaches to improve drug development. InnoSer will focus on the humanized in vivo model and will validate the combined platform in-house for preclinical research use.
Both components of the platform will bring substantial novelty in the field. Integration of microglial-like cells in the brain organoid model will allow the study of complex neuro-immunological interactions and the incorporation of human dopaminergic precursors in the mouse model allows better translatability. The two-step methodology will allow a reduction of unnecessary animal use and the inclusion of human tissue in the platform allows early de-risking.
The TRANSCEND platform will offer fully integrated in vitro and in vivo models using human tissue that mimics PD hallmarks in the human brain, thereby increasing success rate in the clinical phase and boosting drug development.