Rewind’s Remyelinating Therapy Pipeline Backed by New Investments
Company focused on advancing lead candidate toward the clinic
Rewind Therapeutics has received new investments to support the development of its therapeutic candidates designed to promote remyelination in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS).
Currently, the company is focused on advancing its lead candidate toward the clinic as it continues to build a pipeline of additional candidate remyelination molecules.
The new round of investment comes from Sunstone Life Science Ventures, joining a number of existing investors, but financial details were not disclosed.
“The additional financing not only strengthens our top-tier investor base, but also allows us to accelerate the progression of our lead program into clinical development,” Anja Harmeier, PhD, CEO at Rewind, said in a company press release.
Remyelination is potential strategy for slowing or reversing MS progression
Myelin is the fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve cells, ensuring their proper function and communication. MS and certain other diseases of the central nervous system (CNS, the brain and spinal cord) are marked by the progressive loss of this sheath (demyelination), leading to nerve cell dysfunction and cell death.
While the body does have natural mechanisms to help repair myelin (remyelination), that repair process is normally deficient in older people and in patients with demyelinating diseases, who have ongoing inflammation that damages myelin-producing cells.
Thus, remyelination is of significant interest as a therapeutic strategy for slowing or reversing progression of MS and other demyelinating diseases.
Still, “halting or even reverting demyelination is a challenging task,” said Claus Andersson, PhD, general partner at Sunstone, who will be joining Rewind’s board of directors.
The data generated by Rewind Therapeutics so far supports a truly novel mechanism of action and will allow the company to initiate clinical trials in key CNS indications.
Rewind’s approach is to ensure cells needed for myelin production work properly
Rewind’s approach is to make sure that the cells needed for myelin production in the CNS — oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) and oligodendrocytes — are working properly.
Normally, in the presence of myelin damage, OPCs travel throughout the brain and spinal cord and differentiate into oligodendrocytes at the lesion site, promoting myelin production.
Several signals that work to prevent the expansion, migration, and differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells have been identified, according to the company.
While Rewind didn’t mention the specific mechanisms its treatments will target, the company previously stated it was aiming to target certain G-protein coupled receptors responsible for preventing the growth and migration of OPCs.
The causes of demyelination vary between demyelinating diseases, but the same repair process is needed to restore myelin in all of them. As such, Rewind believes its therapeutic candidates will be broadly effective across multiple demyelinating diseases, including MS.
“The data generated by Rewind Therapeutics so far supports a truly novel mechanism of action and will allow the company to initiate clinical trials in key CNS indications,” Andersson said.
“Rewind has … a team with long research and development expertise in the field of remyelination therapeutics,” Andersson added, noting that this experience combined with “the high unmet medical need in neurogenerative disorders,” supported Sunstone’s decision to invest.