[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 25-Jun-2013
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Contact: Susan Rosenbaum
srosenbaum@laurensciences.com
212-737-0455
Lauren Sciences LLC

Lauren Sciences LLC awarded second Michael J. Fox Foundation grant to further develop V-Smart™ Therapeutic for Parkinson's disease

New York, N.Y., June 25, 2013 -- Lauren Sciences LLC, a privately-held biotechnology company continuing development of its novel V-Smart™ platform technology, announced today the award of a second grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). The company recently completed the first stage of developing V-Smart™-based therapeutics for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), which was funded by MJFF, whereby it demonstrated targeted delivery of GDNF (glial-derived neurotrophic factor) to the substantia nigra and the striatum, brain regions in which neurons degenerate during the course of PD. Targeted delivery of GDNF to these brain regions was achieved by systemic administration of the company's V-Smart™ nanovesicles that were customized for GDNF delivery. The new MJFF grant has been awarded to investigate efficacy of the V-Smart™ vesicles in a PD animal model.

"We thank The Michael J. Fox Foundation for their second award to us," said Susan Rosenbaum, J.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lauren Sciences. "This new MJFF grant has been awarded following the success of our Parkinson's disease project over the past year, and provides recognition of our innovative V-Smart™ drug delivery system and its potential to transform the treatment of Parkinson's disease with an effective therapeutic that overcomes the historical challenge of developing drugs that cross the blood brain barrier."

"The delivery method of trophic factors continues to be a challenge in reaching the regions of the brain where neuroprotection and repair is needed," said Jamie Eberling, Ph.D., Senior Associate Director of Research Programs at MJFF. "We are looking forward to seeing if V-Smart™ is proven effective in the delivery of GDNF as a potential disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's disease."

"Optimized V-Smart™ vesicles formulated with GDNF have promise as a new treatment for patients," said Irwin Hollander, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development, Lauren Sciences. "We hope it will be able to stop progression of, or reverse, Parkinson's disease, unlike other drugs that provide merely symptomatic relief. It is anticipated that the successful outcome of efficacy studies of our GDNF-loaded V-Smart™ vesicles in Parkinson's pre-clinical models could lead to future clinical studies in Parkinson's disease patients."

"Our latest studies demonstrate that the novel V-Smart™ nanovesicles can encapsulate GDNF, cross the BBB and release the encapsulated GDNF in areas of the brain affected by Parkinson's," said Eliahu Heldman, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Lauren Sciences. "Our next goal is to demonstrate that GDNF delivered by V-Smart™ vesicles is capable of protecting dopaminergic neurons from degeneration in animal model of PD. The success of this project would be an important milestone in the development of GDNF-based therapy for PD that would considerably improve Parkinson's patients' lives."

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About the V-Smart™ Platform

V-Smart™ is a platform technology that can be used for a variety of uses including delivery of therapeutic drugs. The V-Smart™ drug delivery system is based on novel nanovesicles that have unique superiority to other nanovesicles, such as liposomes. Major advantages of the V-Smart™ nanovesicles include: high stability, large encapsulation capacity of a variety of potential drugs (e.g., small molecules, peptides, proteins and nucleic acids), ability to transport the drugs across the BBB, targeting to specific cells and release of encapsulated drugs in a controlled manner at targeted sites.

About Lauren Sciences LLC

Lauren Sciences LLC is a privately-held New York biotechnology company focused on developing its V-Smart™ platform to create a robust pipeline of V-Smart™ therapeutics consisting of central nervous system (CNS)-active drugs that normally do not cross the BBB. The company's lead program is for Parkinson's disease. Additional pipeline programs include other CNS disorders, such as neuro-HIV (supported by a grant awarded by The Campbell Foundation), Alzheimer's disease, GBM (brain cancer), ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs), among others. The company's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Eliahu Heldman, is Professor Emeritus at Ben-Gurion University, Israel where he, with Dr. Sarina Grinberg and Dr. Charles Linder, developed the V-Smart™ technology and lead the Lauren Sciences research team.

About Parkinson's Disease

Over one million people in the US suffer from Parkinson's disease, a disorder of the CNS resulting from loss of cells in distinct parts of the brain. The current standard of care is based mostly on drugs that alleviate symptoms but do not cure the disease. The efficacy of these drugs diminishes with time and patients develop motor fluctuations that negatively affect their quality of life. GDNF might be able to restore function of degenerating dopamine-producing-cells and thus retard progression of the disease and even reverse the course of the disease.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

As the world's largest private funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research programs, and has invested over $325 million in research to date. For more information, visit http://www.michaeljfox.org.

Contact: Susan Rosenbaum, J.D., Lauren Sciences LLC, info@laurensciences.com, (917) 397-2826.



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