NEW YORK and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson’s with GBA and Q-State Biosciences today announced the formation and launch of Chamishi Therapeutics, a drug discovery and development company focused on neurodegenerative diseases and other related disorders. Chamishi will initially focus on developing antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies for Glucosylceramidase Beta Acid (GBA)-Parkinson’s disease.
The partnership will combine The Silverstein Foundation’s deep scientific knowledge base and commitment to accelerating therapeutic development with Q-State’s precision medicine platform, disease-relevant cellular assays, and ASO design capabilities.
“We are excited to partner our precision medicine technologies with Chamishi to develop highly innovative therapies for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other related disorders,” said Matthew Fox, CEO of Q-State Biosciences. “This collaboration is an excellent opportunity for Q-State to expand the reach of our ASO capabilities and proprietary assay platform to help a new population of patients and their families.”
Chamishi is led by CEO Jim Sullivan, Ph.D., a venture partner at OrbiMed with over 25 years of experience in biopharmaceuticals. Previously, Dr. Sullivan was the Vice President of Discovery at AbbVie, where he was responsible for AbbVie’s research efforts in a variety of therapeutic areas and advanced multiple compounds into clinical development, including currently marketed products for the treatment of hepatitis C, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Chamishi will harness the latest innovations in ASO technology and our emerging understanding of the immune system’s role in neurodegenerative disorders to develop disease-modifying therapeutics,” Dr. Sullivan said. “By developing ASOs that prevent expression of toxic proteins or restore expression of beneficial proteins, Chamishi has the opportunity to introduce new therapies for patients with GBA-Parkinson’s disease and many other indications. We are excited to partner with Q-State and to leverage the combined expertise from both companies.”
Jonathan Silverstein, founder of The Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson’s with GBA, added, “We are at a turning point in the treatment paradigm for Parkinson’s disease where insights from underlying genetic pathways can enable development of disease-modifying therapies instead of the solely symptomatic treatments available today. The Silverstein Foundation is pleased to partner with Q-State Biosciences in founding Chamishi and further accelerating the development of innovative therapeutic options for patients.”
About GBA-Parkinson’s Disease
The GBA gene (Glucosylceramidase Beta Acid) encodes the protein glucocerebrosidase, or GCase, which functions to allow brain cells to clear debris via a cellular component known as the lysosome. Those who have mutations in the GBA gene are at higher risk for Parkinson’s disease due to a reduction in GCase activity that prevents effective removal of the debris. It is hypothesized that this excess debris aggregates, causing clumps of alpha synuclein to form, which is toxic to brain cells. The percentage of patients that have Parkinson’s with GBA is believed to be roughly 7-10% of the overall Parkinson’s population, however therapeutic breakthroughs identified in this area have the potential to benefit all PD patients, as well as others suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
About Chamishi Therapeutics
Chamishi Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company focused on precision therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and other related diseases. Chamishi was launched in 2019 by The Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson’s with GBA and by Q-State Biosciences.
About The Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson’s with GBA
The Silverstein Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on investing in cutting-edge therapeutic approaches for the treatment and prevention of Parkinson’s disease in glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutation carriers. The Foundation collaborates with clinicians, scientists, and biotechnology companies to accelerate research and clinical trials in an effort to rapidly bring new disease-modifying therapeutic options to patients. Under the leadership of a world-class team with strong domain expertise across neurodegenerative diseases, drug formulation chemistry, translational research, and drug development and commercialization, the Foundation has funded over 30 projects across seven different therapeutic approaches since its inception in 2017. The Foundation applies a unique flexible funding model including both new company formation and traditional research grants to deliver in real-time on its mission of rapidly developing novel disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s disease. For more information, please visit www.silversteinfoundation.org.
About Q-State Biosciences
Q-State Biosciences is a precision medicine company based in Cambridge, MA, that pioneers revolutionizing care for patients with devastating genetic disorders. Q-State applies a proprietary end-to-end platform to diagnose the root cause of disease and to discover genetically targeted therapies. For more information, please visit www.qstatebio.com.