Aspen Neuroscience has announced plans to commence a first patient screening study of its therapeutic development candidate, ANPD001, to potentially treat idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD).

A lead product of the company, ANPD001 is an autologous neuron replacement therapy.

The company will collaborate with various clinical screening sites in the US in this regard.

The Trial-Ready Cohort Study is an initial step for the submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the US Food and Drug Administration for ANPD001, the company noted.

It will offer data to and monitor potential subjects for the planned Phase I/IIa, first-in-patient clinical trial of ANPD001. 

The firm plans to announce multiple screening sites in the US throughout the spring.

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Aspen president and CEO Damien McDevitt said: “This is a historic moment for patients and for the Aspen Neuroscience team, as we open our first screening study to expedite our investigation of iPSC-derived cell replacement therapies for Parkinson’s disease. 

“This is a significant step forward for the patient community, for health care providers and the neuroscience field.”

A second most common neurodegenerative disease, PD impacts over ten million people globally. 

Aspen focuses on the development of tailored cell replacement that can eradicate the requirement for immunosuppressive therapy. 

This method utilises skin cell-derived iPSCs of the patient to make replacement dopamine neurons, which will be transplanted back into the patient. 

Before transplantation for clinical usage, each patient’s cells developed from a skin biopsy will be analysed using artificial intelligence-based genomics tools.

In April 2020, Aspen raised $70m in a Series A funding round to progress the development of its autologous neuron replacement therapy for Parkinson’s.