Lyon, 15 March 2018 – Theranexus, an innovative biopharmaceutical company in neurological diseases that is pioneering new drug candidates affecting the interaction between neurons and glial cells, has today announced the signature of a three-year research collaboration with the Collège de France, an internationally renowned institution in the field of neurosciences. This work, looking at the impact of glial cells on neuronal activity, will be led by Dr Nathalie Rouach within the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Biology (CIRB) headed by Prof Alain Prochiantz. The research will include a doctorate conducted via a CIFRE contract (industrial agreement for training through research) with the National Association for Research and Technology (ANRT).
Theranexus was formed after the important role played by non-neuronal cells (also known as “glial cells”) in the body's response to psychotropic drugs was discovered. Research by the company's joint founders and directors, Franck Mouthon and Mathieu Charvériat, revealed that by changing the organisation of glial cell networks, the neuronal response could be significantly improved and the effectiveness of psychotropic drugs greatly increased as a result.
“We are very proud of this new collaboration with the Collège de France, the leading player in the science of neuron and glial cell interactions for many years. The work will deepen our knowledge of mechanistic aspects of these interactions and more specifically the role that the organisation of astrocyte networks mediated by connexins plays in synaptic transmission. Deciphering this new information will help us understand their interdependency in brain functioning and central nervous system diseases and in the response to psychotropic drug treatment,” explains Chief Scientific Officer Mathieu Charvériat.
Nathalie Rouach adds: “Our team is delighted to start this research collaboration, and to welcome a PhD student working at the interface of our institutions, between fundamental science and treatment applications. Theranexus is a privileged partner to promote innovation in the rapidly growing field of interaction between astrocytes and neurons. As well as the major role of astrocytes within tripartite synapses, the network organisation of these cells is key to how the brain processes information and remains a vital issue in understanding physiological and pathological processes in the brain.”
Theranexus' therapeutic strategy targets neurons and glial cells at the same time, by designing and developing innovative combinations of two drugs. These combinations act directly on the neuronal cellular environment, maximising the brain's response to psychotropic drugs and enabling more effective medicines to be developed for neurological conditions. With this unique, radical therapeutic approach, Theranexus aims to meet patients' needs with four indications: narcolepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and neuropathic pains.
About the Collège de France
The Collège de France is a public higher education institution that is unique in France and has no equivalent abroad. Since the sixteenth century, the Collège de France has fulfilled a dual role: to conduct the most ground-breaking research and to teach this. Dedicated to fundamental research, the Collège de France has the unique mission of “teaching knowledge in the making in every field of literature, the arts and sciences”. It works in partnership with the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and several other leading institutions.
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