Specialised pro-resolving lipid mediator Immunoresolvent lipids for multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Edition: 2017
  • Research center: Institut de Neurociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Scientific Area: Neurosciences
  • Business area: Therapeutic
  • Status: In development
  • Contact: ruben.lopez@uab.cat

Multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are severe medical conditions in modern societies, causing a vast impact on the quality of life of the patient and their relatives. Unfortunately, affected individuals do not have any effective treatments at their disposal to deal with the progression of the disease. Currently, a growing body of evidence indicates that abnormal inflammation is a pathological hallmark of these neurological conditions.

Goals

  • To develop an innovative treatment for MS and ALS based on a natural lipid, a specialised pro-resolving mediator (SPM) molecule derived from omega-3 lipids, crucial for signalling the resolution of inflammation.

See project infographic:

Infographic

Problem to Solve

ALS is the third most common neurodegenerative disease, and causes progressive motor disabilities and death in about four years from diagnosis. MS, the most debilitating autoimmune disease, affects myelin sheaths, impeding the proper transmission of the nerve impulse, and causing progressive disability and death.

For both conditions, anti-inflammatory drugs are generally the preferred treatments. However, they are not very effective in diseases characterised by uncontrolled inflammation, highlighting the need for a cutting-edge treatment that has a stronger therapeutic effect with fewer adverse consequences.

Innovation

Specialised lipid mediators are bioactive lipids naturally produced by immune cells when a tissue is damaged or infected. Exogenous administration is able to modulate inflammation and tissue repair. This immunoresolvent drug delays the onset of the disease and protects neuron function in ALS and MS preclinical models respectively.

Level of Innovation

This innovative drug has a remarkable therapeutic effect in in vivo models, promising a strong therapeutic impact on both MS and ALS. Moreover, other SPM molecules are being tested, but they are not as effective in treating neural damage. This highlights the drug’s potential in comparison to other SPMs.

Team

Project Leader. Assistant Professor and Researcher

Rubèn López Vales

Institut de Neurociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

PhD student

Anna Martínez Muriana

Institut de Neurociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

PhD student

Alba Sánchez Fernández

Institut de Neurociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Technology transfer manager

Marta Tort Xirau

UAB - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Mentor

Member of the Board

Raj Airey

SOM BIOTECH

Partners

Obra social “la Caixa”
Caixa Capital Risc