Pharma Focus Europe

PharmaKure and Sheffield Hallam University Collaborate to Investigate Epigenetic Mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease

Friday, March 01, 2024

PharmaKure, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focusing on precision medicines for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative conditions, has recently announced a new collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University in the field of epigenetics. The partnership aims to explore 'gene-based environmental biomarkers', also known as epigenetic markers, to enhance the accuracy of current Alzheimer’s diagnostics alongside PharmaKure’s blood-based biomarker, ALZmetrixTM.

The joint study between Sheffield Hallam University and PharmaKure aims to deepen our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to identify individuals at higher risk of developing the condition. This early identification could facilitate timely interventions in the disease process.

Professor Gavin Reynolds from Sheffield Hallam University's Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre, with significant experience in studying neurotransmitter systems in psychiatric disorders, is now focusing on epigenetic effects in neurological diseases. He explained, “Our research focuses on understanding the interplay between environmental factors and brain diseases.”

Dr. Helene Fachim, a Neuroscientist at PharmaKure, highlighted the role of both mental health and environmental factors in brain disease development. She stated, “Epigenetic changes triggered by influences like trauma and chronic stress can contribute to various psychiatric and neurological disorders. Our focus is on identifying epigenetic factors specific to Alzheimer’s Disease.”

“Our aim is to leverage these epigenetic insights to better understand AD, enabling risk stratification and proactive interventions, potentially enhancing the effectiveness of AD treatments,” Dr. Fachim added.

Recognizing Alzheimer’s as a multifaceted disease influenced by environmental factors, the study hypothesizes differential methylation in specific target genes associated with AD compared to non-AD controls. If validated, this hypothesis could lead to the development of an epigenetic predictive risk score for cognitive impairment and AD.

Dr. Farid Khan, CEO of PharmaKure, expressed optimism about the collaboration, highlighting the importance of academia-industry synergy in achieving their objectives. He stated, “We are eager to share significant findings from this collaboration in the near future.”

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterized by memory loss and cognitive decline. It is the most common form of dementia, comprising 60 to 80 percent of cases. With one person developing dementia every three seconds globally, the impact of Alzheimer’s is significant, affecting millions of individuals worldwide. The economic burden of Alzheimer’s care underscores the urgent need for effective treatments to slow its progression.



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