SOURCE: Oryzon Genomics

Oryzon Genomics

May 18, 2015 09:00 ET

ORYZON Genomics Awarded $270,000 Research Grant to Fund IND of Its Novel Epigenetic Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease

Company Accelerates Promising CNS Program Into Clinical Development

BARCELONA, SPAIN and CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - May 18, 2015) - Oryzon Genomics, an epigenetics-based biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics in oncology and neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) has awarded a $270,000 grant to the company for continued development of its molecule ORY-2001, a dual LSD1-MAOB inhibitor, as a new therapeutic approach for Alzheimer's disease (AD). The ADDF award will fund work to finalize the preclinical toxicological characterization needed to move Oryzon's LSD1-MAOB dual inhibitor ORY-2001 to clinical stage this year.

Oryzon's drug candidate targets the enzyme LSD1, a histone demethylase which plays a role in regulating the expression of crucial genes that neurons need to stay alive. LSD1 is able to switch the expression of those genes on and off in the neurons in response to age, insults and environmental conditions. LSD1 also regulates the expression of genes involved in the progression of AD and other neurological disorders, such as Parkinson´s and Huntington's diseases. 

In 2011, ADDF awarded Oryzon with $300,000 to achieve proof-of-concept for the LSD1 mechanism in AD mouse models. More than two years of extensive research have demonstrated that ORY-2001 is able to stop the disease progression in SAMP-8 mice, a model for accelerated aging and AD. Chronic oral treatment with ORY-2001 for two or four months prevents the development of memory deficits while maintaining an optimal safety profile.

"The ADDF is proud to continue to invest in Oryzon's novel LSD1 program, which has the potential to impact multiple disease targets in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, Oryzon has made excellent progress with our funding, and is moving the LSD1 inhibitors ever closer towards clinical testing," said Howard Fillit, MD the ADDF's Executive Director. "We look forward to further progress in the coming year." 

"We feel honored to be selected again for one of the ADDF's highly competitive, internationally peer-reviewed grants," said Dr. Carlos Buesa, Oryzon's CEO. "In 2011, we were the first Spanish company to obtain ADDF support and this renewal of their confidence in our program and science is key. By moving for the first time a histone demethylase inhibitor into clinical trials for AD, Oryzon will pioneer the field of Epigenetics on its applications in neurodegenerative disorders, a therapeutic space where there is a desperate medical need. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the US Alzheimer's community and this grant is helping us to accelerate our pace to file the IND by the end of this year."

In April 2014 the company entered a global strategic collaboration with ROCHE with its first oncology asset, ORY-1001, a LSD1 inhibitor for the treatment of leukemia and other oncology malignancies, currently in Phase I/IIA. Under the terms of the agreement, Oryzon received an upfront payment and near-term milestones totalling $21 million, plus potential development, commercial and sales milestone payments across haematology, cancer and non-malignant indications exceeding $500 million, together with sales royalties. 


Founded in 2000 in Barcelona, Spain, Oryzon ( is a privately held, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company considered as the European champion in Epigenetics with one of the strongest portfolio in the field. Its LSD1 program is currently covered by 18 patent families and has rendered one compound in clinical trials and another one to enter clinical trials by the end of 2015. In addition, Oryzon has ongoing programs for developing inhibitors against other histone demethylases and histone methyltransferases. The company has also a strong technological platform for biomarker identification and performs biomarker and target validation for a variety of malignant and neurodegenerative diseases. Oryzon's strategy is to develop first in class compounds against novel epigenetic targets through Phase II clinical trials, at which point we decide on a case-by-case basis to either keep the development in-house or to partner or out-license the compound for late stage development and commercialization. In October 2014, ORYZON announced opening of U.S. operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts through its U.S. affiliate, Oryzon Corp.

About the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)
The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) ( was co-founded by Ronald S. and Leonard A. Lauder of the Estée Lauder cosmetics family. The ADDF's mission is to accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's diseases, related dementias and cognitive aging. Since its founding, the ADDF has granted more than $70 million to fund over 450 Alzheimer's drug discovery programs in academic centers and biotechnology companies in 18 countries.

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