News | September 14, 2011

NovAliX To Collaborate With The Fondation Jérôme Lejeune On Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)


Strasbourg, France / B3C newswire / - NovAliX recently announces that it has entered into a multi-year drug research collaboration in the field of trisomy 21 with the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune.

NovAliX will use its expertise and capabilities in medicinal chemistry and structural biology to develop small molecule lead candidates targeting the cystathionine-beta-synthase (CBS). Indeed inhibition of CBS over-expression has been associated with restoration of cognitive impairment in animal models afflicted with trisomy.

"We look forward to progressing our research programs for treating trisomy 21 leveraging NovAliX expertise in structure-based drug design and capabilities in advanced lead generation methodologies" said Dr Henri Bléhaut, Chief Scientific Officer at the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune.

Stephan Jenn, President of NovAliX, said "we are very pleased to investigate a novel research approach for the Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and to support the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune in its efforts to improve patients conditions".

About Down syndrome (Trisomy 21)
Trisomy 21, the most common genetic intellectual disability, always produces intellectual impairment in varying degrees. It is caused by a chromosomal irregularity: While most human beings have 46 chromosomes divided into 23 pairs, Trisomy 21 patients have a third chromosome added to the 21st pair. The extra chromosome produces an overabundance of chemical signals, causing functional imbalances throughout the body. We now know how to treat and cure many conditions associated with trisomy 21—but we still need to tackle the causes of intellectual impairment.

The Fondation Jérôme Lejeune
Created in 1996 and recognised as being in the Public Interest, the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune works on the research of genetic intellectual disabilities: Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), "Cri du chat" syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, monosomies... In order to find a treatment in the future to cure patients affected by intellectual deficiencies, the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune finances about 40 research programs all over the world each year. In France, it is the largest provider of funds for research on Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). The Fondation also created the Institut Jérôme Lejeune regarded as the primary link between patients and research of genetic intelligence diseases. The institute offers specialized medical consultations for genetic intellectual disabilities: diagnosis, treatment, prevention for multiple handicaps, information to families concerned and professional training. The Fondation Jérôme Lejeune is fully supported by private donors. This collaboration with NovAliX takes place in the context of CiBleS21 program.

About NovAliX
NovAliX develops enabling chemistry and biophysical technologies to support the pharmaceutical industry's outsourcing needs from discovery to manufacturing. With proprietary SPR technology, X-ray protein crystallography, supramolecular mass spectrometry and chemistry NovAliX offers comprehensive integrated services for small molecule drug discovery. With advanced NMR technologies, NovAliX provides fine characterization of biologics, thorough analysis of APIs and polymorphism studies to support pharmaceutical development and manufacturing teams. NovAliX Group, a team of 120 scientists, is located in Strasbourg-Illkirch (France) and Heidelberg (Germany).