Thursday, February 28, 2013

Peptide discovery could lead to new treatments for ALS

Research funded by The ALS Association has uncovered a cellular process that may affect those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The Mayo Clinical of Jacksonville, Florida uncovered:
...when the cell's protein-making machinery latches on to this repetitive RNA, it creates a protein-like chain called a RAN-translated peptide, which the researchers have termed C9RANT. The peptide's own repetitive structure makes it stick to itself, and the researchers found clumps of the peptide in the brains of people who had died of ALS.

It is still unknown whether these peptides are contributing to disease or are uninvolved in it. But in either case, they offer researchers a specific marker for ALS caused by the C9ORF72 gene and potentially a way to measure disease activity and response to therapy.

According to PR Newswire, this is a complicated disease to track and treat but the discovery of the peptide could be a big step forward.  Funding by the ALS Association was key.

 This May at the TIDES Summit, Atlas Venture will be on hand to present The State of Venture Capital, Startups, and Funding in Oligo and Peptide Therapeutics.  During this presentation they will look at the challenges that come with the funding and leaderships that life sciences receives from venture capital   For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us in Boston May 12-15, 2013 at the Tides Event, as a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code TIDES13JP, you'll save 20% off the standard rate!

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