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Convelo, Genentech to collaborate on remyelination drugs for MS

US biotech company Convelo Therapeutics has signed an exclusive worldwide collaboration with Roche subsidiary Genentech to fast track discovery and development of novel remyelination drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders.

Convelo Therapeutics, which is headquartered in Cleveraland, Ohio, is engaged in discovering a new class of drugs that regenerate the protective coating of myelin around nerve cells.

The company’s collaboration with Genetech will consolidate on the remyelinating targets and the screening platform developed by its scientific founders Paul Tesar and Drew Adams.

As per the terms, Convelo Therapeutics will be paid an undisclosed upfront amount and research support from Genentech to develop remyelination drugs. The Roche subsidiary will have an exclusive option to acquire 100% of the US biotech company for an additional undisclosed amount plus downstream milestones.

remyelination drugs MS Genetech Convelo

Genetech joins forces with Convelo Therapeutics to discover remyelination drugs for MS and other neurological disorders. Photo courtesy of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Commenting on the collaboration for the discovery of remyelination drugs, Derrick Rossi – CEO of Convelo Therapeutics said: “We are excited to be working with Genentech to discover and develop first-in-class therapies for patients suffering from diseases driven by myelin loss such as multiple sclerosis.

“This partnership combines the strengths of our two organizations to potentially bring new medicines to patients.”

According to Convelo Therapeutics, the presently approved therapeutics for multiple sclerosis focus only on preventing further damage of myelin by modulating the immune system. As of now, no approved remyelination drugs are there that address the unmet clinical requirement to promote the regeneration of myelin.

James Sabry – Global Head of Pharma Partnering at Roche, commenting on the collaboration for the discovery of remyelination drugs, said: “There have been important treatment advancements for people living with multiple sclerosis, but many still experience disability progression.

“Novel medicines that regenerate the myelin around nerve cells could help address this significant need. We look forward to collaborating with Convelo to hopefully deliver new options to people with multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.”

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