A new and unique compound, named NT219, selectively inhibits the process of aging in order to protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, without affecting lifespan, find researchers.
The successful joint collaboration between researchers at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem and the startup company TyrNovo is an important step towards the development of future drugs for the treatment of various neurodegenerative maladies.
Human neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases share two key features: they stem from toxic protein aggregation and emerge late in life.
The common temporal emergence pattern exhibited by these maladies proposes that the aging process negatively regulates protective mechanisms that prevent their manifestation early in life, exposing the elderly to disease.
Dr. Hadas Reuveni, the CEO of TyrNovo, a startup company formed for the clinical development of NT219, and Prof. Alexander Levitzki from the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University, with their research teams, discovered a new set of compounds that inhibit the activity of the IGF1 signaling cascade in a unique and efficient mechanism, primarily for cancer treatment, and defined NT219 as the leading compound for further development.
Now, the researchers have demonstrated that NT219 efficiently inhibits IGF1 signalling, in both worms and human cells. The inhibition of this signalling pathway by NT219 protected worms from toxic protein aggregation that in humans is associated with the development of Alzheimer's or Huntington's disease.
The findings strengthen the notion that the inhibition of the IGF1 signalling pathway has a therapeutic potential as a treatment for neurodegenerative disorders. They also point at NT219 as the first compound that provides protection from neurodegeneration-associated toxic protein aggregation through a selective manipulation of aging.
The study was published in the journal Aging Cell.