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Industrial studentship to accelerate development of biotech company’s therapeutic compounds

  • 30 July 2010
Industrial studentship to accelerate development of biotech company’s therapeutic compounds

A collaborative research project with a biotechnology company is looking at the potential for the company’s proprietary compounds to be used in treatment approaches for Parkinson’s disease.

Aberdeen-based Antoxis Ltd, which specialises in the design and synthesis of novel antioxidant molecules for therapeutic and stem cell applications, is set to collaborate with Dr Tilo Kunath from the University’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

The goal of this project is to develop novel antioxidant compounds that protect human dopamine-producing neurons from this stress, providing a potential treatment to slow down or prevent their loss in Parkinson’s disease.

Although the cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown in most cases, there is evidence that some form of oxidative stress initiates the gradual and substantial loss of neurons that produce dopamine, a key chemical in the brain which is important for movement, control and mood.
 
The project is funded through BioSKAPE, a joint Scottish Funding Council and BBSRC initiative, to drive collaboration between business and the life sciences research base in Scotland. The scheme will support a PhD student to work with Antoxis on a programme of collaborative research with Dr Kunath.

Donald McPhail, Chief Scientific Officer at Antoxis, said: “We are delighted to have received funding from the BioSKAPE programme. This provides an excellent opportunity for the company to accelerate development of its neuroprotective compounds by working in collaboration with Dr Kunath and the novel stem cell approaches to Parkinson’s that he is developing in the Centre for Regenerative Medicine.”

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