UIC-2019-010 – A new use for the GlyB4 biologic for neurodegenerative disease

Neuroinflammation and plaque formation are a high risk for the development of neurological diseases. The initial inflammatory response can be regarded as a defense/protective reaction mechanism, but its further amplification, speeds up neurodegenerative diseases Among these, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the seventh leading cause of death among all ages and the third most expensive illness in the US, after heart disease and cancer. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is another neurodegenerative disease that affects as many as 30,000 in the United States, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year. There are no current treatments for AD or ALS. Current approaches focus on helping people maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms, and slow down certain problems. Furthermore, these therapies lack considerable and sustained efficacy. GlyB4 is a novel biologic fusion protein: it links a soluble decoy receptor (HER4, which regulates gene expression) with a heparin-binding targeting domain (HBD) from the glial growth factor gene neuregulin1 (NGR1) to block NGR signaling GlyB4 acts as a targeted NGR antagonist that blocks the endogenous NGR signaling and targets specific cell surfaces that can be linked to a wide variety of biopharmaceuticals Inventors developed it to target the biological therapeutic to axoglial and neuromuscular junctions in nerve development to treat not only AD, but also ALS and many neurodegenerative conditions. Hyunjin Kim hkim227@otm.uic.edu 312355-7843

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