ProQR Therapeutics announced that the company has spun out Amylon Therapeutics (Amylon), a privately-held company focused on the development of therapies for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, with seed funding from a group of institutional and private investors.
As part of the transaction, ProQR has granted an exclusive license to Amylon to develop therapeutics for beta amyloid related disorders. Amylon will use the license and proceeds to continue research and development of therapies for CNS disorders, with an initial focus on a RNA-based treatment for a rare genetic disease that leads to strokes at mid-adulthood, called Hereditary Cerebral Hemorrhage with Amyloidosis of the Dutch type (HCHWA-D). A future beta amyloid related indication could include cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). ProQR retains majority ownership in Amylon and is entitled to future milestones and royalties from the products developed by Amylon on the terms and conditions set forth in the license.
Amylon will be led by Thomas de Vlaam as founding CEO, who holds a bachelor’s degree in international medicine and global health. Thomas joined ProQR in 2015 to incubate the CNS activities, with the goal of spinning it out into a new company. On behalf of ProQR, Dinko Valerio, the Chairman of the Supervisory board of ProQR, will join the Supervisory board of Amylon and Gerard Platenburg, Chief Innovation Officer of ProQR, will join the scientific advisory board of Amylon.
Since its inception in 2012, ProQR has invested significantly in discovering and developing innovative RNA therapies for severe genetic rare diseases. This has led to an extensive pipeline of discovery development programs that are harbored in separate business units with dedicated teams of specialists focused on cystic fibrosis, eye diseases, skin diseases and CNS diseases.
“As part of our corporate strategy to bring as many of our programs to patients as possible, we built ProQR as a group of focused business units that enable us to attract external funding directly into the individual development programs or ultimately spin programs out as we have now done with Amylon,” said Daniel de Boer, Chief Executive Officer of ProQR. “Through spinning out Amylon, we position the beta amyloid program for optimal success with a dedicated team and the funding to develop treatments for patients suffering from these devastating brain diseases. Through our involvement in the Supervisory board and scientific advisory board of Amylon we will continue to assist Thomas and his team in building success.”
”The unmet need of patients living with beta amyloid related disorders is very significant and to date no disease modifying treatments are available,” said Thomas Wisniewski, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in New York. “The technology that Amylon is developing for these patients is built on a solid scientific rationale and holds great promise for patients.”
The scientific advisory board at Amylon will consist of the following members:
- Thomas Wisniewski MD, Lulu P. and David J. Levidow Professor of Neurology, Pathology and Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine.
- Philip Scheltens MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of Alzheimer Center at the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam.
- Gerard Platenburg, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of ProQR.