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Seelos Therapeutics to test Parkinson's Disease drug SLS-007 in gene therapy study

SLS-007 in the company's second gene therapy program to fight the neurodegenerative disorder

Hand with a ring on it being held in a pair of hands
SLS-007 is designed to inhibit protein aggregation in the nerve cells of patients with Parkinson’s

Seelos Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SEEL) announced the formation of an in-vivo study of its Parkinson’s Disease program SLS-007, the company’s second gene therapy approach for Parkinson’s Disease. 

The plan is to utilize an Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) as a delivery vector, and Seelos is currently producing the viral vector and preparing animals for the study. Data from the study is expected later this year, the company said.

“Identifying the AAV vector as the optimal route of systemic administration of SLS-007 may ultimately yield a convenient one-time delivery of the peptides,” CEO Raj Mehra said in a statement. “This is a novel method of viral delivery that has been a collaboration between our R&D team and key opinion leaders that, if successful, could be a major advancement in the field.”

READ: Seelos Therapeutics wins key meeting with European regulator to propose Trehalose study for Sanfilippo syndrome

SLS-007 is designed to inhibit protein aggregation in patients with Parkinson’s. Overexpression of the protein alpha-synuclein can lead to the creation of Lewy bodies, a protein aggregation inside nerve cells that are a hallmark of the disease.

“The study will include measurements of several key biomarkers that will assess the extent of alpha-synuclein (α-synuclein) aggregates expression in key target areas of the brain, such as the forebrain and the substantia nigra,” Head of R&D Tim Whitaker said. “These outcomes will help determine key target engagement and set the stage for our next steps with the program.”

Seelos is also developing SLS-004, another gene therapy program designed to combat Parkinson's. SLS-004 works by targeting the SNCA gene, which encodes for the production of α-synuclein.

Shares of Seelos climbed 4.9% to $1.19 on Tuesday.

—Updated to include stock movement and additonal info—

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Quick facts: Seelos Therapeutics

Price: 1.05 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $37.28 m

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