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Israeli Startup Takes Aim at Huntington’s Disease

Lab stock photo (Photo: flickr/cifor)

Researchers at Mitoconix Bio just received $20 million from investors to develop their new drug that they believe can treat Huntington’s disease, giving hope to many.

There is no drug in existence that can slow or stop the progression of such diseases, said Dr. Eyal Neria, CEO of Mitoconix Bio. “This is the Holy Grail of drugs for neurodegeneration, or what’s called disease modifying agents,” he said.

The company was founded in August 2016 by Daria Mochly-Rosen, of Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Mochly-Rosen led a team of researchers that identified the molecular interactions that cause the mitochondria in brain cells to break down into smaller, dysfunctional versions of themselves. Mitochondria are tiny cellular structures (organelles) within cells that produce energy and contribute to other important functions, including regulation of cell growth…

The Stanford team identified chemical inhibitors of excessive mitochondrial splitting, which slowed or stopped the disease in animal test subjects. That’s a breakthrough, since existing drugs only treat the symptoms of Huntington’s while the disease progresses “relentlessly,” according to Neria.

Tags: Israeli Innovation

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