Rhenovia launches drug discovery for Huntington’s disease, others

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Rhenovia Pharma of Cambridge and Mulhouse, France has initiated drug research programs in rare, orphan and neglected diseases, beginning with Huntington’s disease (HD) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), according to a written announcement from the company.

The company works to develop new medications to treat neurodegenerative, neurological and psychiatric diseases. As a first step, Rhenovia is building a new biosimulation platform aimed at modeling the complex interplay between biological mechanisms in striatum, the brain region that is most affected in Huntington’s disease. HD is a fatal, rare neurodegenerative disease that is particularly difficult to treat because of the very broad spectrum of symptoms it causes, involving involuntary movement disorders, cognitive deficits and psychiatric manifestations, according to the company.

“It is exactly because of this variety and often opposite syndromes that the biosimulation approach is probably the most appropriate strategy in the search for new treatments,” said Serge Bischoff, president and CEO of Rhenovia. “It will allow us to integrate the complexity of the biological systems affected by HD and to address the multifactorial nature of this disease.”

Rare diseases are defined as those affecting fewer than one in 2,000, 80 percent of which are caused by genetic defects. They also include rare forms of cancer, auto-immune disorders, congenital malformations, infectious diseases and intoxications.

No cures exist for most rare diseases. The only currently available treatments are those that improve the quality of life. The annual Rare Diseases Day, which took place earlier this year, extends the international recognition of these diseases with the aim of improving diagnosis and treatment.

The objective of Rhenovia’s HD program is to provide new tools and solutions to optimize the Drug Discovery and Development (DD&D) process and accelerate the search for new treatment strategies and medications, not only for relieving HD patients from their symptoms, but also for modifying the course of their illness. A further objective is to consolidate Rhenovia’s own pipeline of drug candidates.

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Source: American City Business Journals

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