Toronto, ON – Dr Neil Cashman, chief scientific officer of Amorfix Life Sciences, has published the results of a ground-breaking study that shows how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is spread throughout the body. The study has profound implications for the development of new therapeutics to treat this devastating disease. The scientific paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Earlier studies from Dr. Cashman’s laboratory showed that misfolded superoxide dismutase 1 (mSOD1) is associated with and likely causal to ALS. In addition, mSOD1 can cause native SOD1, a molecule normally protective to cells, to misfold and kill nerves rather than protect them. This is the so-called Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon where a molecule with beneficial properties misfolds and becomes a molecule that harms the body. The results of the current study show that mSOD1 is not only able to induce misfolding of native SOD1 in cells but can also spread throughout the nervous system leading to progressive neurological damage seen in ALS.
“This research sheds light on how this fatal disease progresses throughout the nervous system and provides additional scientific support for our ongoing efforts at Amorfix to develop new therapeutics and diagnostic tools for early detection and treatment of ALS,” said Dr. Robert Gundel, president and chief executive officer of Amorfix.