National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC
McGill University

McGill University
KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

KalGene Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


June 05, 2015 06:17 ET

NRC and KalGene Develop New Alzheimer's Treatment

Patients are one step closer to receiving novel treatment for disease

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 5, 2015) - Canadian biotech KalGene Pharmaceuticals has successfully secured $1.5 million in financing from Brain Canada, CQDM, and the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) Focus on Brain program to develop a new treatment for Alzheimer's. This funding from CQDM will allow KalGene to test the conjugated therapeutic in preclinical models and if successful, in patients.

Getting therapeutics past the blood-brain barrier is no easy task. To enable its delivery into the brain, experts from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) will couple KAL-ABP, the therapeutic molecule, to carrier molecules that can shuttle it past the barrier. The molecule, called Amyloid-binding peptide (KAL-ABP), was developed by NRC and licensed to KalGene earlier this year.

To assist with the evaluation of the therapy, the Montreal Neurological Institute is providing best-in-class human imaging, while the Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC) is developing an algorithm to automatically quantify amyloid-beta, the suspected cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Quick Facts

  • While Alzheimer's disease is a complex condition, toxic amyloid is widely believed to be the precursor to the neuronal degeneration that causes dementia and death. The therapeutic molecule from the National Research Council selectively binds to the toxic form of amyloid and reduces the amount remaining in the brain.

  • NRC's carrier molecules, sometimes described as Trojan horses, leverage a mechanism known as receptor-mediated transcytosis, a natural process that allows vital nutrients to enter the brain to sneak therapeutics into the brain.

  • CQDM is funding six innovative projects to address brain diseases through its Focus on Brain program with Brain Canada and the Ontario Brain Institute. CQDM is funded by the Government of Canada's Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence Program.

  • CIMTEC facilitates and accelerates the commercialization of medical imaging technologies, bringing them into clinical use faster and more efficiently. CIMTEC is supported by the Government of Canada's Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research


"It is very rewarding to see NRC discoveries moving beyond our laboratories and toward patients, where they have the potential to make a difference for Canadians. We are happy to co-develop this new therapy with KalGene and ensure its smooth transition to clinical trials."

Roman Szumski, Vice-President of Life Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada

"We are extremely pleased with the world-class collaborative team that has been brought together to accelerate our Alzheimer's program."

Nathan T. Yoganathan, President and Chief Scientific Officer of KalGene Pharmaceuticals

"KalGene's approach to mitigating the progression of Alzheimer's disease pathophysiology represents an exciting technological advance, which brings hope to patients, families and individuals at high risk. It is expected that our innovations in Alzheimer's disease research will rapidly deliver tangible benefits for clinical populations."

Dr. Louis Collins, McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University

"CIMTEC is proud to be playing a role in this important project, working alongside an elite team of experts to potentially bring the first effective Alzheimer's therapy to the world."

Bart Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, CIMTEC

Additional Links:

- NRC Therapeutics Beyond Brain Barriers program

- Blood-brain barrier carriers

- NRC and KalGene announce license agreement for the development of novel Alzheimer's therapeutics

Contact Information

  • Media Relations Team
    National Research Council of Canada
    1-855-282-1637 (toll-free, 24/7, in Canada only)
    1-613-991-1431 (elsewhere in North America)
    Twitter: @nrc_cnrc

    T. Nathan Yoganathan
    President and Chief scientific officer
    KalGene Pharmaceuticals

    Anita Kar, Communications Officer
    Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
    T: 514 398-3376
    M: 514 295-3870
    Twitter: @TheNeuro_MNI

    Darlene Pratt
    Director of Marketing Communications
    1-519-858-5013 ext. 25324