Aquapharm and Dundee University Sign Research Collaboration to find Marine Compounds to target Alzheimer’s

Aquapharm Biodiscovery, a leading marine biotechnology company, recently announced it has signed a research agreement with Dundee University to help it develop new drugs based on marine natural products that may help in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a disease marked by the formation of insoluble protein aggregates in the brain with associated progressive degeneration of the neurons. The collaboration is aimed at O-GIcNAcase, a well-documented target for Alzheimer’s, that modulates the solubility of the protein in these aggregates but that has been difficult to target with conventional small-molecule libraries. It therefore forms an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that Aquapharm’s growing collection of novel and diverse marine-derived compounds and scaffolds can modulate a clinically attractive but pharmacologically challenging target for a disease for which new solutions are urgently required.

Aquapharm will be working with Professor Daan van Aalten, Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University, who brings to the collaboration expertise in studying the structural aspects and mechanism of protein-carbohydrate interactions, and applies this knowledge to design molecules that modulate these interactions in biological systems as research tools or leads for the development of chemotherapeutics.

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