Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:SEEL) is on the receiving end of good news as it has won a notice of allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office for its patent 10,493,023, which relates to trehalose, its investigational molecule targeting a number of neurodegenerative conditions related by common protein aggregations.
The patent application is titled “Treatment of Protein Aggregation Myopathic and Neurodegenerative Diseases by Parenteral Administration of Trehalose” (application number: 14/889,727).
Simply put, Trehalose is promising as it has been shown to reduce the aggregation of misfolded proteins and also help to reduce the accumulation of pathologic material. The way this molecule works is that it triggers autophagy (the body’s means of purging itself of damaged cells) via the activation of transcription factor EB (TFEB), a critical factor in lysosomal and autophagy gene expression.
This is an important breakthrough as the activation of TFEB is an emerging target for therapies for a clutch of diseases which are accompanied by the pathologic accumulation of storage material.
Diseases which are connected by the common factor of protein aggregations include Sanfilippo syndrome, Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD), Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA3), Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Friedrich Ataxia (FA).
Last July, the US Patent Office granted Seelos a patent to treat the rare disease Friedrich Ataxia, which triggers the degeneration of the nervous system and faulty muscle coordination, with trehalose.
Just last month, Roth Capital Partners reiterated its Buy rating on Seelos and tagged its stock with an $8 price target. Analysts there are of the view that results from a Phase 1 study of the company’s intranasal ketamine depression drug, SLS-002, which are set to be unveiled next year “will be a significant stock-moving event”.