PharmaKure announces epigenetics collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University to understand mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Diseases

New collaboration will enhance ability to identify those more at risk of developing brain diseases to enable earlier interventions

Manchester, United Kingdom, 29th February 2024PharmaKure, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing precision medicines for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases, today announces a new epigenetics collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University. This partnership will focus on ‘gene-based environmental biomarkers’, known as epigenetic markers, for calculating risk scores for Alzheimer’s diseases. Together with ALZmetrixTM, PharmaKure’s blood-based biomarker, this will increase the power of current Alzheimer’s diagnostics.

The collaborative study between Sheffield Hallam University and Pharmakure aims to gain a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in order to identify those more at risk of developing the disease, so enabling the provision of appropriate interventions much earlier in the disease pathology.

Professor Gavin Reynolds, Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, explained, “We have been working on the relationship of environmental stresses with respect to brain diseases.” Professor Reynolds has published over 300 papers on the pathology of neurotransmitter systems involved in psychiatric disorders and now focuses on epigenetics effects in neuro diseases.”Our genes are coded in our DNA, but epigenetics looks at how the cell turns genes on and off according to different environmental exposure, such as the aging process, stress, trauma etc. We want to identify abnormal epigenetic changes associated with brain diseases, and these changes may be modifiable with medications.”

Dr Helene Fachim, Neuroscientist, PharmaKure, said, “Mental health and the environment can both contribute to the development of brain diseases. Influences, such as trauma and chronic stress, can bring about epigenetic changes to DNA that may result in a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. We are therefore looking for epigenetic factors that are specifically related to Alzheimer’s Disease.”

“We would like to use these epigenetic approaches for a better understanding of AD, so that we can stratify a person’s risk of developing it. Then, we could act in preventive ways, or administer AD drugs earlier in life when they are more effective.”

AD is a multifactorial disease, and it is known that environmental factors can make an important contribution to triggering it. The study’s main hypothesis is that there is differential methylation in certain target genes related to AD compared to non-AD controls. If this hypothesis proves to be true, Pharmakure can start the validation of an epigenetic predictive risk score for cognitive impairment and AD.

“We are very positive and excited about this new epigenetics collaboration, and we believe that bringing together academia and industry is the best way to achieve our goals. We are looking forward to sharing important results in the near future,” said Dr. Farid Khan, CEO, PharmaKure.

Editors’ notes

About Alzheimer’s Disease – Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal illness that causes progressive decline in memory and other aspects of cognition. Dementia due to Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases. Every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia. 850,000 people (UK) and 44 million people (worldwide) are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia related illnesses. In 2020, the total cost of care for people in the UK was £34.7 billion. Globally, the cost was $360 billion and by 2050 it could reach $1 trillion (source Alzheimer’s Research UK), unless we find a way to slow the disease.

About PharmaKure – PharmaKure is a UK based pharmaceutical company, spun out from the University of Manchester. The company is actively researching, developing, commercialising and repositioning repurposed drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, as well as developing the ALZmetrixTM diagnostic.

For more information, contact [email protected], or see Pharmakure’s website

Company Contacts

CEO: Dr Farid Khan – [email protected]
CCO: Dr Naz Bashir – [email protected]