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Necroptosis Now!


Contact: Eric N. Valor (ericv@sciopen.org)

SciOpen Research Group Announces Collaboration
With The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Santa Cruz, California, June 1, 2016 – SciOpen Research Group, Inc., a nonprofit research organization investigating possible treatments for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), has announced a research collaboration with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at The University of Melbourne, and the Walter and Eliza Hall of Medical Research, Australia. The program will run through the latter half of 2016.

“We are excited to begin this collaboration with the Florey Institute and Walter & Eliza Hall Institute aimed at testing proof of concept for a novel therapeutic pathway in ALS,” said Eric Valor, President of SciOpen Research Group. “Dr. Bradley Turner has extensive experience with the classic ALS mouse model and is actually generating a new version of the model which will represent a theoretical 100% efficacy. Dr. James Murphy brings pathway expertise and tools, and a library of molecules targeting the pathway developed by colleagues at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Catalyst Therapeutics Pty Ltd.

The pathway being investigated involves a recently identified form of programmed inflammatory cell death called “necroptosis” which is regulated by a protein named MLKL. Since MLKL has no other known role in the body it represents an interesting target with a lower risk for potential side effects.

“We believe that inhibition of this pathway is a promising therapeutic target in ALS,” said Dr. Turner. Dr. Murphy is already working on MLKL inhibition in other conditions, including the ischemia-reperfusion injuries that occur in stroke and acute kidney injury. “Halting necroptosis could potentially stop ALS progression by breaking the feedback loop of neuroinflammation from astrocyte toxicity,” Dr. Murphy explained.

About SciOpen Research Group:

SRG, a California-based 501(c)3 public charity, is a team of Persons(s) with ALS (PALS), citizen scientists, doctors, and pharmaceutical industry professionals who are frustrated by the limitations of the current drug development process aimed at treating ALS. SRG seeks out interesting new molecules or repurposed drugs to test in various models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

SRG is a new type of biotech called a guerrilla biotech. It is young, small, aggressive, and is the new wave of how science will be done in the future. By outsourcing and utilizing Cloud-based infrastructure, it can do the same science as large institutions for a fraction of the cost.


About the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health:

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health is the largest brain research group in the Southern Hemisphere. It works on a range of serious diseases including stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, motor neuron disease, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, depression, schizophrenia, mental illness and addiction.

Research of the brain and its diseases has gained considerable momentum internationally. Many scientific and technological advancements have been made, and much of the Institute’s work has been center stage. State and Federal Governments, major philanthropic foundations and many generous private benefactors have recognized the importance of neuroscience as the final frontier in medical research.


About the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research:

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute is Australia’s oldest medical research institute. It was founded in 1915 with financial support from a trust established by Eliza Hall, following the death of her husband Walter. Three nationally and globally significant areas of health have been long-term, central interests of the institute’s research:

  • cancer – understanding the basic processes that are disrupted to generate cancer cells and how these can be targeted to treat disease;
  • immunology – discovering how the body fights infection, and how errors in the immune system lead to disease; and
  • infectious diseases – today with a focus on globally significant pathogens, especially malaria and chronic infections.

Institute scientists take a multidisciplinary approach to addressing major research questions, integrating expertise in bioinformatics, clinical translation, genomics, medicinal chemistry, personalized medicine, proteomics, structural biology and systems biology.