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Collaboration of Servier with CIMA in Alzheimer and Parkinson research

Two agreements have been signed for the analysis of the therapeutic potential of a new target against Alzheimer’s disease and for the development of advanced technology for the study of neuronal cell death in Parkinson’s disease

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Servier and the CIMA have signed collaboration agreements to research two of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases in the world: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. FOTO: Manuel Castells
29/09/16 13:33 Miriam Salcedo

The international pharmaceutical company Servier and the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) of the University of Navarra have signed collaboration agreements to research two of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases in the world: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Through this alliance the pharmaceutical company supports CIMA in order to increase scientific knowledge on the treatment of these diseases and to carry out in-depth research into the causes and mechanisms which produce neurodegeneration.

The first agreement is to research the potential of a new target which has been identified in CIMA for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Study of the target will allow for better understanding the disease, and the identification and development of potential new therapeutic agents. The project is directed by the researchers from the biomedical academic institution Dr. Julen Oyarzabal, director of Translational Science and of the Molecular Therapy Program, and Dr. Alberto Pérez-Mediavilla, from the Neurosciences Program. The collaboration with Servier Research Team is a great opportunity to associate fundamental research with outstanding technology and expertise for drug discovery.

The second partnership is coordinated by Dr. Montserrat Arrasate, who is also a researcher of the CIMA Neurosciences Program. Its objective is to develop and implement an advanced specific software program which will permit the identification of compounds which reduce neural cell death caused by synuclein, a key protein in Parkinson’s disease neurodegeneration.

Both research teams have broad-based, internationally recognized experience in the identification and validation of new therapeutic targets and in the development of specific technology for the study of neuron survival.

According to Jesús Hernández Cabrero, Chief Executive Officer of CIMA, “This agreement is a perfect example of the ideal cooperation model between university research and pharmaceutical companies, in order to expedite the discovery of new therapies.”

For Carmen Gorostiaga, Research Director of Servier Spain, “This collaboration with one of the leading centers pioneering research on new drugs means for Servier a significant breakthrough in our effort to quest for innovation.”

Prevalence of these neurodegenerative diseases

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder which causes the deaths of nerve cells in the brain. It is the main cause of dementia and over 31 million people suffer from it in the world, 3.5 million of those in Europe.  

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative illness caused by the death or deterioration of dopaminergic neurons, nerve cells in the brain which produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in important biological functions such as movement, behavior and cognition. It affects approximately 2% of people over 65 years old in the world and, although it is associated with ageing, between 15 and 20% of the patients are under the age of 50.

CIMA Neurosciences Program is carrying out research into cellular and molecular bases of cognitive deterioration caused by these diseases. The objective of this research is to identify new therapeutic targets and to develop treatments to delay or stop its progress. 

About CIMA

The Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA) is a biomedical research institution of the University of Navarra. Through its scientific activity it aims to increase knowledge of human biology by identifying and validating targets and cell mechanisms against which medical action may be taken, by designing therapeutic agents and new diagnostic tools. CIMA employs near three hundred professionals who research into oncological, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, hepatic and rare diseases, and develop techniques such as immunotherapy or gene therapy. 

About Servier

Servier is an international pharmaceutical company governed by a non-profit Foundation and headquartered in France. With a strong international presence in 148 countries and a turnover of 3.9 billion euro in 2015, Servier employs over 21,200 people worldwide. Corporate growth is driven by Servier’s constant search for innovation in five areas of excellence: cardiology, metabolism, neuropsychiatry, oncology, and rheumatology, as well as by its activities in high quality generic drugs. Being completely independent, the Group reinvests 25% of Servier’s products turnover in Research and Development, and all its profits in its growth.

About Servier in Neuropsychiatry

Servier has a solid commitment to neuropsychiatry and to proposing new therapies to patients suffering from neurological conditions. Its Research team is investigating innovative ways to treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders by targeting the toxic proteins that lead to neuron death. The priority is on focusing on the causes of the diseases rather than the symptoms. Currently, there are 5 projects at different stages of research development in this promising area. This research portfolio is being developed with academic and biotech partners worldwide.

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