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Cambridge MedChem Consulting

Encouraging early results for the drug delaying onset of Motor Neurone discovered by artificial intelligence

Motor neurone disease (MND) describes a group of diseases that affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord, is is likely that there are multiple molecular targets. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease is the most common form of MND. Edaravone was recently approved for the treatment of ALS but the mechanism is unknown. It is a free radical scavenger and oxidative stress has been hypothesised to be part of the process that kills neurones in people with ALS. However new treatments are urgently needed.

For this reason I was particularly interested to read about a potential novel treatment for ALS arising from work between and Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.

The study, led by Dr. Richard Mead and Dr. Laura Ferraiuolo at SITraN, assessed the efficacy of a drug candidate proposed by BenevolentAI's artificial Intelligence technology for Motor Neuron Disease (MND), also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). SITraN found there are significant and reproducible indications that the drug prevents the death of motor neurones in patient cell models, and delayed the onset of the disease in the gold standard model of ALS…Dr. Richard Mead of SITraN commented: "This is an exciting development in our research for a treatment for ALS. BenevolentAI came to us with some newly identified compounds discovered by their technology - two of which were new to us in the field and, following this research, are now looking very promising. Our plan now is to conduct further detailed testing and continue to quickly progress towards a potential treatment for ALS."

SITraN expect to publish an abstract at the Motor Neurone Disease Association 28th International Symposium in Boston in December 2017.