GoBio-Project: Development of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Small Molecules for Huntington‘s and Alzheimer‘s Disease
In 2006, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research established the biotech start-up initiative “GO-Bio” (Gründungsinitiative Biotechnologie) in order to stimulate spin out activities from academic research institutions in Germany. Prof. Wanker was one of 12 successful competitors in the first round of the award programm, whose aim is to supply around 50 future biotech companies with seed financing in a time frame of five years.
The goal of Prof. Wanker’s project is to develop diagnostics and drug therapies for Alzheimer’s (AD) and Huntington’s disease (HD), two neurodegenerative disorders for which no effective causal treatments exist to date. Several lines of evidence indicate that the process of aggregate formation of mutated proteins causes neuronal dysfunction and toxicity in these disorders. The therapeutic strategy of choice is therefore to prevent misfolding and oligomerisation of the disease proteins, amyloid-ß and huntingtin. In the project, we are validating small molecules that we have formerly identified in screenings for potential modifiers of aggregate formation that interact with the relevant disease proteins.