Geneva, Switzerland, 24 February 2022 – GliaPharm SA, a biotech company that specializes in the research and development of novel therapies to treat and prevent neurological diseases, and the Wyss Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating discoveries in neuroscience to improve patient lives, today announced a collaboration to develop new treatments for Alzheimer's disease.
One of the hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s is reduced glucose uptake by the brain, known as hypometabolism. This metabolic decline occurs before symptoms appear and persists as the disease progresses. There are currently no specific drugs to address this problem.
GliaPharm’s innovative therapeutic approach targets glial cells, the ‘support cells’ of neurons, to increase glucose uptake in the brain and enhance brain energy metabolism in pathological conditions. The company is currently tackling hypometabolism in an ‘orphan’ neurological disease named Glucose Transporter 1-Deficiency Syndrome (GLUT1-DS). This rare disease is characterized by a reduced entry of glucose into the brain that leads to severe symptoms in children and adults.
“The collaboration with the Wyss Center will allow us to accelerate our drug development towards other neurological indications that are linked to brain metabolism dysfunction, such as Alzheimer's disease.” said Prof. Pierre Magistretti, GliaPharm’s scientific founder.
“A particularly exciting element of this collaboration will be to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of GliaPharm’s lead candidate molecules using the state-of-the art brain imaging techniques possessed by the Wyss Center.” said Dr Richie Kohman, Chief Scientific Officer at the Wyss Center.
GliaPharm will test the impact of its lead candidates in preclinical models of Alzheimer’s disease to advance the compounds towards clinical stage. The team will also use the Wyss Center’s advanced imaging pipeline to analyze large volumes of brain tissue at high resolution. Comparison of treated and untreated brains at a cellular level will enable the team to identify clinically relevant biomarkers that could pave the way towards the development of molecules for clinical trials.
GliaPharm is a Swiss biotech company that develops innovative approaches to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. GliaPharm was created in 2016 as a spinoff company of the laboratory of Prof. Pierre Magistretti at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), a leading research laboratory in the field of brain metabolism and glial cell biology. In 2017, GliaPharm established its laboratory at the Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland. Through its in-house R&D laboratory and network with selected partners, GliaPharm provides the necessary platform to develop clinical applications arising from the know-how and fundamental discoveries accumulated throughout three decades of research in the academic setting.
GliaPharm SA contacts
Ambroise Magistretti, Co-CEO
+41 (0) 21 963 15 00
Dr. Sylvain Lengacher, Co-CEO
+41 (0) 21 963 15 00
About the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering, Geneva, Switzerland
The Wyss Center is an independent, non-profit research and development organization that advances our understanding of the brain to realize therapies and improve lives.
The Wyss Center staff, together with the Center’s academic, clinical and industrial collaborators, pursue innovations and new approaches in neurobiology, neuroimaging and neurotechnology.
Wyss Center advances reveal unique insights into the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of the brain and the treatment of disease to accelerate the development of devices and therapies for unmet medical needs.
The Wyss Center was established by a generous donation from the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss in 2014. Additional resources from funding agencies and other sources help the Wyss Center accelerate its mission.
Wyss Center media contact
Jo Bowler, Communications Manager
+41 (0) 58 201 03 09