HATFIELD, England, June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
PRESS RELEASE NOT FOR U.S. MEDIA
Validation of a novel therapeutic concept marks a first step towards a new therapy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
The first scientific milestone in the validation of a novel therapeutic concept for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders was recently achieved by leading researchers from UCL (University College London) and Eisai. This represents the first step towards the development of a potential new drug aimed at treating the underlying cause of disease in an area where significant unmet medical need persists.
The development is made possible through an innovative collaboration between two world-leading scientific institutes, UCL, world leaders in neuroscience research, and the Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai, which has a strong heritage in the discovery and development of treatments for neurological conditions. Eisai's Neurology Business Group (NBG) Open Innovation strategy aims to identify and establish truly collaborative alliances which aim to bring novel and innovative therapeutics to patients.
"Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and related dementias represent a growing unmet medical need due to lack of effective treatments that can prevent disease progression. I am excited that our first project has reached this important milestone - hopefully the first of many. This builds on many years of partnership and collaboration with Eisai", comments Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences.
The alliance with UCL forms a major part of Eisai's NBG UK Open Innovation strategy to explore collaborative drug discovery partnerships which augment and complement internal activities. UCL and Eisai formed this major collaboration in 2012 to discover and develop novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other related neurodegenerative disorders. In 2014, Eisai was named UCL Enterprise Corporate Partner of the Year in recognition of the company's commitment to exploring new ideas and paths to drug discovery in neuroscience through 'Open Innovation' with the world-leading academic institution.
"Eisai is extremely proud of the 'Open Innovation' strategy that is exemplified by our long-standing partnership with UCL. Through this collaborative effort we bring together leading scientists to help us discover new solutions for people with these life-changing illnesses. In particular new treatment options are needed for people with dementia where one new case is diagnosed every 3.2 seconds. The milestone achieved by this project, which is aligned to our Proteinopathy focus area, is the first step on this road", said Teiji Kimura, Chief Discovery Officer, Neurology Business Group, Eisai.
Eisai and UCL are committed to working together to translate research findings into products that will have a tangible, positive impact on society. The strategic alliance between UCL and Eisai combines research excellence, drug discovery expertise and clinical insight.
Notes to Editors
Eisai is one of the world's leading research and development (R&D) based pharmaceutical companies and we define our corporate mission as "giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides," which we call human health care (hhc).
Eisai concentrates its R&D activities in three key areas:
- Neuroscience, including: Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, pain and weight loss
- Oncology including: anticancer therapies; tumour regression, tumour suppression, antibodies.
- Vascular/Immunological reaction including: thrombocytopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease
With operations in the U.S., Asia, Europe and its domestic home market of Japan, Eisai employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. From its EMEA Knowledge Centre in Hatfield, UK, Eisai has recently expanded its business operations to include Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Oceania (EMEA). Eisai EMEA has sales and marketing operations in over 20 markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia and the Middle East.
For further information please visit our web site http://www.eisai.co.uk
About University College London (UCL)
Founded in 1826, University College London (UCL) was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. It is among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has 27,000 students from almost 140 countries, and around 11,000 employees. Its annual turnover is nearly £1 billion.
For further information please visit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk or follow UCL on Twitter @uclnews
About neurodegenerative disease
Neurodegeneration is the term applied to a range of diseases which result in the progressive loss or function of neurons, many of which are characterized by the accumulation of protein aggregates and termed proteinopathies.
Neurodegenerative diseases are strongly linked with age and with an increase in retirement age and in life expectancy, the number of people with neurodegenerative disease who are still working is expected to increase in the coming decades. Neurodegenerative diseases are presently incurable and debilitating conditions.
There are over 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds. Dementias are responsible for the greatest burden of disease, with Alzheimer's disease representing over 60-70% of the cases. Today, over 46 million people live with dementia worldwide. This number is estimated to increase to 131.5 million by 2050.
1. Medical Research Council. Available at: http://www.mrc.ac.uk/funding/science-areas/neurosciences-mental-health/neurodegenerative-diseases-and-dementia/. Accessed June 2016
2. European Parliament Research Service blog. Available at: https://epthinktank.eu/2013/07/17/neurodegenerative-diseases-in-the-workplace/. Accessed June 2016
3. Alzheimer's Disease International. Dementia statistics. Available at: http://www.alz.co.uk/research/statistics . Accessed June 2016
4. World Alzheimer's Disease Report 2015. The Global Impact of Dementia - An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends (executive summary). Available at http://www.alz.co.uk/sites/default/files/pdfs/world-alzheimer-report-2015-executive-summary-english.pdf. Accessed June 2016