Biotech Startup, Collaborator Receive Parkinson’s Disease Grant to Study Newly Identified Pathway, Develop Novel Treatments

Lexington, Kentucky (PRWEB) December 03, 2014

Gismo Therapeutics Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $235,000 Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research grant to investigate therapeutics directed against a newly identified disease pathway in Parkinson’s disease.

Gismo Therapeutics’ expertise is in small molecule compounds that target glycosaminoglycans, which have been identified as key molecules that promote the spread of neurodegenerative diseases into previously unaffected neurons. The grant was co-awarded to Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., the Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The project, “Targeting internalization and aggregation of alpha-synuclein proteopathic seeds with glycosaminoglycan interacting small molecules (GISMO): A novel therapeutic strategy for Parkinson’s disease” seeks to validate a little-explored disease pathway linked to the spread of Parkinson’s disease. In this pathway, heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan (HS-GAG) mediates internalization and aggregation of alpha-synuclein proteopathic seeds, which can lead to the clumps of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein that often are found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s. Recent literature has linked these clumps of abnormal protein to the disease’s spread. Discovering ways to interfere with this pathway have significant implications for the development of novel drugs to treat Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative amyloid diseases.

“We are pleased to have been awarded this grant as it will allow us to significantly advance our efforts to identify targeted therapeutics against this newly identified disease pathway for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease,” said Paul Gregor, Ph.D., founder of the company and inventor of the GISMO technology. “The company is already a recipient of a SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) and a SBIR Matching Funds Grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, to discover novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. By working with the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, the local economic development partnership, GISMO located operations in Lexington, Kentucky to take advantage of the Matching Fund Grants, and we are making fine progress recently filing our first patent application.”

About Gismo Therapeutics Inc.:

Gismo Therapeutics Inc. is a biotech start-up company targeting fundamental biochemical processes that are at the root of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease pathogenesis. The company has been awarded in quick succession several prestigious research grants during 2013-2014 to further develop its industry-leading technology, GISMO, which is associated with a new hypothesis of the etiology of major neurodegenerative amyloid diseases. Gismo Therapeutics Inc. is developing first-in-class, disease modifying oral therapeutics for the treatment of both Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The company received a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in September 2013 to discover and develop novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease, based on GISMO technology. GISMO Therapeutics Inc. was incorporated in 2011 in Delaware and recently opened new operations in Lexington, Kentucky with the assistance of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, which is made up of the University of Kentucky, Commerce Lexington and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The company is privately held and supported by grants from NIH and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development (administered by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation). The company was founded by Paul Gregor, Ph.D., CEO, a graduate of the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel), and its team includes Scientific Advisory Board member Dennis Choi, M.D., Ph.D., an award-winning neurologist, Chair of Department of Neurology and Director of Neuroscience Institute, Stony Brook University, New York.

For more information about Gismo Therapeutics Inc., visit the company’s recently launched website,

Dr. Rebecca Bernat
Tel: (650) 814-9918

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