Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Arizona researchers look to commercialize Alzheimer’s treatment for patients with Down syndrome


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 30th, 2022

Researchers at the University of Arizona (UA) aim to commercialize a drug for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in patients with Down syndrome.

The drug decreases the levels of the kinase Dyrk1a, which is overexpressed in Down syndrome patients and is known to induce classic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

The research team behind the drug have worked with Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the commercialization arm of UA, to launch the start-up Iluminos Therapeutics and bring the novel treatment to market. With TLA’s help, Iluminos received a $3.5 million federal Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to test the drug before entering clinical trials.

“This is a huge accomplishment for the Iluminos team,” says Bruce Burgess, director of venture development at TLA. “Being awarded an STTR grant is a signal that this technology and this start-up team are on the right path and well on their way to advancing a technology that would provide significant benefit to patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease.”

According to co-founder and UA professor Chrisopher Hulme, the start-up expects to complete pre-clinical development of the drug by 2025.

Source: Tech Launch Arizona

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