Policy & Regulation
Oligomerix Receives USD 3.19m NIH Commercialization Readiness Pilot Grant for Alzheimer's Disease Therapy
15 September 2020 - - US-based biotechnology company Oligomerix, Inc., a developer of small molecule therapeutics targeting tau for Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders, was awarded a USD 3.19m grant from the National Institute on Aging at National Institutes of Health, the company said.

The three-year SBIR/STTR Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program award will enable the company to further develop its small molecule tau self-association inhibitor.

NIH's goal with this funding program is to help companies with previously funded SBIR/STTR Phase II/IIB projects transition to the commercialization stage by providing additional support for late-stage research R and D and product development activities.

Most clinical studies for AD have focused on amyloid beta but have had limited success in patients. There continues to be mounting evidence that tau pathology drives neurodegeneration in diseases like AD, frontotemporal dementia and progressive supranuclear palsy.

However, clinical-stage programs targeting tau are currently focused on intervention after tau proteins have aggregated. Oligomerix's novel approach targets tau self-association, the initial step before tau aggregate formation.

Oligomerix's lead candidate is a small molecule inhibitor of tau self-association and targets the beginning of the tau aggregation cascade.

The activity of the drug translated from in vitro and cell assays to animal studies, validating the company's screening approach. 

In vivo proof-of-concept studies demonstrated compound efficacy in two transgenic mouse models with tau pathology representative of AD and frontotemporal dementia.

In a study recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Oligomerix and the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health, reported that the compound inhibited hippocampal self-associated tau in the htau mouse model of tauopathy which expresses the six CNS isoforms of the human tau protein.

Initial preclinical safety studies show the drug is well tolerated with no adverse events or behavioral abnormalities observed. The compound is being developed with an accompanying novel biomarker.

Oligomerix is an emerging biotechnology company focused on developing disease-modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias by targeting tau self-association.

The company's drug discovery platform has identified a pipeline of novel small molecule inhibitors, with preclinical IND-enabling studies in progress for the lead program.

Oligomerix's small molecule approach blocks the formation of all tau aggregates by targeting tau self-association, known as the beginning of the aggregation cascade, whereas other companies have focused on targeting large tau aggregates formed downstream.

The NYC-based company is located at the Ullmann Research Center for Health Sciences within the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.