14.10.2010

Michael J. Fox Foundation awards $515,086 to professor Mart Saarma for therapeutic development for Parkinson’s disease

HELSINKI, Finland – October 6, 2010 – Hermo Pharma Ltd. today announced that The Michael J. Fox Foundation has awarded a significant research grant to Professor Mart Saarma at the University of Helsinki.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation funding will be used to complete preclinical studies addressing the therapeutic potential of the neurotrophic factor CDNF (short for Cerebral Dopamine Neurotrophic Factor) in Parkinson’s disease. CDNF is Hermo Pharma’s proprietary neurotrophic factor.

The research project currently funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation is a continuation of the long line of internationally awarded work by Professor Saarma, who is also a cofounder of Hermo Pharma Ltd. Prof. Saarma’s team originally discovered CDNF in 2002 and then demonstrated that it protects and has a capacity to repair injured neurons in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. Previous preclinical research on CDNF has provided highly promising results when comparing the neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties of CDNF with other neurotrophic factors.

“The Michael J. Fox Foundation funding for this project is a strong recognition of the world class excellence of Finnish neuroscience. This grant will significantly support the pre-clinical research programme on CDNF lead by Dr. Saarma at the University of Helsinki”, said Hermo Pharma’s CEO Juhani Lahdenperä. “We are delighted to have a chance to collaborate with a group of world-class neuroscientists in the project, including Dr. Judy Cameron from the Pittsburgh University, Dr. Zhiming Zhang from the University of Kentucky and Professor Raimo K. Tuominen from the University of Helsinki”, continued Mr. Lahdenperä.

About the Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through a vigorously funded research agenda to ensure the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. MJFF has funded almost $176 million in research to date. www.michaeljfox.org.

About Hermo Pharma Ltd.
Hermo Pharma Ltd. is a privately owned biopharmaceutical company based in Helsinki, Finland. Hermo Pharma Ltd. is developing treatments for currently untreatable medical conditions in the fields of neurology and ophthalmology. The most developed product in the R&D pipeline of the company is the treatment of amblyopia in adults. The second most advanced product is the neurotrophic factor CDNF for treatment of Parkinson´s disease. Hermo Pharma Ltd. recently completed 1 million euro seed round investment from the Helsinki University Funds and Veraventure in conjunction with significant support from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.


Source: Hermo Pharma Ltd Press release 6.10.2010