Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Convelo Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company with a mission to discover a new class of medicines that regenerate the protective myelin coating around nerve cells, has entered into an exclusive worldwide collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to accelerate discovery and development of novel remyelinating medicines for patients with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
The collaboration will build on the remyelinating targets and proprietary screening platform developed by Convelo’s scientific founders Drs Paul Tesar and Drew Adams. Convelo and Genentech will collaborate to discover novel remyelination therapies for MS and other myelin disorders. Convelo will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and research support from Genentech. Genentech retains an exclusive option to acquire all outstanding stock of Convelo for an additional undisclosed payment and downstream milestones.
“We are excited to be working with Genentech to discover and develop first-in-class therapies for patients suffering from diseases driven by myelin loss such as multiple sclerosis,” said Derrick Rossi, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Convelo. “This partnership combines the strengths of our two organizations to potentially bring new medicines to patients.”
Tracy Saxton, Convelo’s Chief Business Officer added, “This collaboration is an important milestone in our company’s growth and enables us to execute on our corporate strategy.”
“There have been important treatment advancements for people living with multiple sclerosis, but many still experience disability progression,” said James Sabry, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Pharma Partnering, Roche. “Novel medicines that regenerate the myelin around nerve cells could help address this significant need. We look forward to collaborating with Convelo to hopefully deliver new options to people with multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders.”
MS is a severely debilitating and progressive neurological disorder affecting nearly one million Americans and millions more worldwide. MS is caused by the immune system aberrantly destroying myelin in the central nervous system, which results in patient disability. Currently approved therapeutics are focused on preventing additional myelin damage by modulating the immune system, but there are no approved therapies that tackle the unmet clinical need to promote myelin regeneration.