Amylon Therapeutics receives UNIIQ investment to develop a therapy against Katwijkse ZiekteTuesday, November 7, 2017
Katwijkse Ziekte and CAA
Amylon Therapeutics has been founded by the ambitious entrepreneur Thomas de Vlaam who is supported by experienced and successful biotechnology entrepreneurs such as founder and former CEO of Crucell, Dinko Valerio. Next to this, as ProQR Therapeutics spin-off, Amylon Therapeutics has the profound expertise and experience of its shareholders at its disposal.
Amylon Therapeutics develops a therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte, formally called Hereditary Cerebral Hemorrhage with Amyloidosis, Dutch Type (HCHWA-D). The Katwijkse Ziekte is a heritable orphan disease which was developed in the Dutch city of Katwijk. Currently, there is no therapy for the Katwijkse Ziekte and nothing can prevent the development of the Katwijkse Ziekte. Patients, between 40 and 60 years of age, suffer of severe bleedings in the brain as a result of the development of Amyloïd bèta plaques in the blood vessels walls. Dependent on the location and the impact of these bleedings, these bleedings can lead to paralysis, dementia, and even death. The progression of the disease is significant: after every event, there is an increased risk on having a new bleeding and the condition of the patient worsens every time. On top of that, the moment of the next bleeding is unpredictable.
Katwijkse Ziekte is a special (hereditary) variation of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA), a disease which is known to cause worldwide multiple hundreds of thousand of patients which are affected by or die from the consequences of CAA every year. Another difference between Katwijkse Ziekte and CAA, a part from the fact that CAA is not hereditary, is that the time of onset of CAA is unpredictable. Besides these differences both diseases are similar. Therefore a development of a successful therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte could be a promising step towards finding a therapy for CAA as well and potentially Alzheimer’s disease, a disease which is also characterized by the formation of plaques in the brain.
Thomas de Vlaam: “Due to the hereditary dominant mutation we know for sure that Amyloïd bèta plaques will be formed in the brains of patients. By using our “exon skipping” technology Amylon will be able to stop the formation of the Amyloïd bèta. If we can stop the formation of the plaques we expect to stop the bleedings in the blood vessel walls as well.”. De Vlaam continues: “I am delighted that with its investment UNIIQ provides Amylon Therapeutics the opportunity to continue the development of a therapy against Katwijkse Ziekte and making the next step towards clinical development. Untill now there is no cure or therapy for patients with Katwijkse Ziekte, we strive to make a change and help these people.”
“Today we have added another promising Leiden based biotech comapny to our protfolio” mentioned Liduina Hammer, UNIIQ Fund manager. “By focussing on the development of a therapy for Katwijkse Ziekte Amylon will solve an unmed need: there is no cure or therapy against Katwijkse ziekte. Using the UNIIQ investment to proof its concept Amylon will be able to make a step towards clinical development”.
Photo: F.l.t.r.: Tim de Jong (UNIIQ), Ivo de Nooijer (LURIS), Tsinat Hailu (Director nonclinical Development Amylon Therapeutics), Robert Strijk, Alderman for Accessibility, Economic Affairs, City Centre and Culture City of Leiden, Liduina Hammer (UNIIQ)
Photography: Angie Peralta van Verkijk / email@example.com
Amylon Therapeutics has its head office in Leiden. Thomas de Vlaam, a young ambitious entrepreneur, founded Amylon in 2017 as a spin-off of ProQR, a NASDAQ-listed company based in Leiden. Amylon uses its knowledge of RNA modulation to target amyloid beta-related diseases in an innovative way, employing the expertise of partners from around the world. The company is assisted by experienced biotechnology veterans with know-how in developing orphan drugs and RNA modulation and who possess a deep understanding of amyloid-related diseases.
UNIIQ is a €22 million investment fund focused on the proof-of-concept phase, which helps entrepreneurs in the province of South Holland bring their unique innovation to market faster. UNIIQ offers entrepreneurs the seed money to achieve their plans and bridges the riskiest phase from concept to promising business. A consortium, including Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter, created the fund. UNIIQ is made possible by the European Union, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the municipalities of Rotterdam, The Hague and Leiden. InnovationQuarter is responsible for the fund management.
Watch a short introduction to UNIIQ here: https://youtu.be/Ix9VZUsHlyU