Fast-tracking Alzheimer’s drug development research
Purdue University startup Neurodon is working with scientists at Purdue and Northwestern University on targeted neuroprotective molecules
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind—A $2-million grant from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health to Neurodon, a Purdue University-affiliated startup, will help fast-track molecules that could improve memory and reduce Alzheimer’s disease neurodegeneration.
The Neurodon team is working with scientists at Purdue and Northwestern University on targeted neuroprotective molecules. The molecules have been shown in lab studies to improve memory and cognition in preclinical models of Alzheimer’s disease by preserving calcium ion balance in neurons and offering a new therapeutic strategy for neurodegeneration drug development.
“We are on a mission to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and do not plan to stop until we succeed,” said Russell Dahl, chief executive officer of Neurodon. “This grant will help us move forward and much closer to human trials.”
The Phase II grant comes after team members successfully completed the Phase I work, where they narrowed down the molecules to select a few of the most promising candidates to help Alzheimer’s patients.
Wendy Koss, an experienced researcher at Purdue, and Gary Schiltz, a research professor at Northwestern, will help direct the studies. Colleen Mauger, a Purdue alumna and registered nurse who has clinical experience treating patients with various chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, is also on the Neurodon team.
Dahl will work closely with the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience.
Neurodon, a biotech startup located in the Purdue Research Park of Northwest Indiana, is working toward discovering neuroprotective drugs. Dahl and his team research treatments to different cell death illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.