Fast Forward, LLC and Provid Pharmaceuticals Announce Expansion of their Partnership for the Development of PV-267, Provid's Unique MS Drug Candidate
NEW YORK and NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J., Nov. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Provid Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a drug discovery company, and Fast Forward, LLC, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's subsidiary devoted to bridging the gap between research and drug development, today announced an expansion of their partnership to support Provid's preclinical studies of their candidate MS drug, PV-267. This novel, highly selective small molecule is designed to block a critical step in the autoimmune process of MS, which leads to the destruction of the body's protective myelin in the central nervous system and to the ultimate accumulation of disability.
The expanded partnership will enable Provid to enhance knowledge of the immune mechanisms involved in the activity of PV-267, paving the way for future development and clinical studies. The biological studies will be carried out by Dr. Thomas Forsthuber, Provid's collaborator and a leading immunologist at the University of Texas San Antonio.
"The partnership between Fast Forward and Provid was begun in May 2009 and helped fund important research," noted Dr. Gary Olson, Provid's President and CEO. "In these studies, PV-267 was shown to be active in an animal model of MS in transgenic mice that carry the human gene for HLA-DR2, a disease-associated molecule that is involved in the attack of the immune system on myelin, the insulating protein on nerves that are damaged in MS." Dr. Olson added, "DR2 is present in about 60% of the MS population and PV-267 was designed to be a potent and selective blocker of DR2. This specificity suggests that PV-267 could have a better safety profile compared with immune-modifying therapies since it will not affect other, normal immune responses."
The partnership with Provid is one of a series of partnerships between Fast Forward and early stage biotechnology companies. "The results of our