SAN DIEGO, July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Plex Pharmaceuticals (registered as CalAsia Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $670,865 from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) through its Therapeutic Pipeline Program. Under this funding, Plex will employ its proprietary fragment-based screening technology combined with structure-based drug design to discover and develop brain-permeable drug candidates targeting two promising PD disease modifying proteins, FK506 Binding Protein 12 (FKBP12) and FKBP52, which accelerate and promote the aggregation of alpha-synuclein, a hallmark of PD pathology.
"We are excited about this opportunity. Being recognized by MJFF validates Plex's platform technology, which accelerates the discovery of blood brain barrier-crossing CNS 'drug-like' lead compounds," said Dr. G. Sridhar Prasad, PhD, Principal Investigator of the program and founder and Chief Scientific Officer.
Dr. Allan Rubenstein, MD, Chairman, added "this further emphasizes Plex's mission for advancing the discovery and development of preclinical and clinical candidates as treatments for both unmet and under-served medical needs including neurodegenerative disorders." An estimated 7-10 million people are living with PD worldwide and the currently available medications only treat symptoms and none either reverse or halt the progression of the disease.
About Plex Pharmaceuticals: Plex pharmaceuticals is an early-stage biotechnology company, which is focusing its drug discovery expertise on diseases caused by protein misfolding: ALS, Parkinson's disease and cataracts. CalAsia Pharmaceuticals, the predecessor to Plex Pharmaceuticals, was founded in 2009 and raised almost $3,000,000 in non-dilutive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Michael J. Fox Foundation to support its efforts in fragment-based screening and structure-based drug design. Plex's ALS effort is built around the work of Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Arthur Horwich, Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Horwich was one of the co-discoverers of the protein chaperone machinery, for which he received a Lasker Award. Plex pharmaceuticals additionally has a development program for Dengue, West Nile and Zika antiviral drugs, which has also received support from the NIH and has worked on a novel brain-penetrant heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitor for glioblastoma.
Dr. G. Sridhar Prasad
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SOURCE Plex Pharmaceuticals