Hermo Pharma’s research and development is focused on the development of innovative products to treat diseases affecting the nervous system. Many CNS diseases, especially in the field of neurodegenerative diseases, lack treatments that can modify or reverse the course of the disease. All of our products are intended to significantly improve all major symptoms of the disease while preventing further disease progression.
New ways to treat amblyopia in adults
Our research and development in this area harnesses the regenerative features of neural plasticity. ‘Neuronal plasticity’ means the ability of neurons and brain circuits to undergo modification. This is the foundation of our ability to learn and adapt to the world surrounding us. We now know that the brain is not ‘hard-wired’ but has an amazing ability to change as a result of external stimulus and experience of its environment. It seems obvious that our brains’ adaptive abilities peak in childhood. As adults we are more familiar with the world around us, reducing the brain’s need to reform itself to suit its environment, but its inherent ability to change remains. Remarkably, this ability, neuronal plasticity as we call it, can be enhanced also in adults. This is the scientific foundation for our amblyopia treatment. This is the scientific foundation for our amblyopia treatment.
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is a condition where processing of visual information from one eye is dysfunctional leading to partial or complete monocular vision loss, in the absence of pathological findings in ophthalmological examination. Amblyopia develops in early childhood and is caused by imbalanced processing of visual information in the visual cortex of the brain. A therapeutic window for treatment of amblyopia with currently available methods closes before the age of ten after which the condition becomes permanent. Currently, there is no effective treatment for adults available. Among other limitations, the lack of stereovision can cause significant difficulties for amblyopic patients in everyday life, for example driving a car. The prevalence of amblyopia is high in the population. It has been estimated that between 2–4% of adult population suffer from this condition in the Western world.
Hermo Pharma will complete a phase 2a clinical study with HER-801 in auldt amblyopia during spring 2013. Topline clinical data is expected to be reported during H1 2013.
Neurotrophic factors have tremendous potential to reverse the course of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. It is a life-threatening neurological disorder that is characterized by selective destruction of nerve cells using dopamine as their neurotransmitter, in a specific location in the brain.
Neurotrophic factors are proteins that regulate development, physiology and survival of neurons. These molecules are critical providers of trophic support in the nervous system without which neurons will die. Therefore, neurotrophic factors have gained a lot interest as therapeutic targets or tools. One of the most important hurdles in protein-based therapies is bioavailability. Recent development in delivery methods of proteins, cells and viral vectors into specific brain make it possible to develop therapies based on neurotrophic factors. In animal models of neurodegenerative diseases, several neurotrophic factors have proven highly efficacious. In rat models of Parkinson’s disease, one of the most potent neurotrophic factors is the recently discovered conserved dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF).
Hermo Pharma has a GMP-ready manufacturing process for CDNF and is proceeding to preclinical toxicology tests in 2013. Our aim is to start first-in-human clinical trials in Parkinson's disease in 2014.