Cajal Neuro and Creyon Bio join forces on neurodegeneration

Biotech companies to work together to develop oligonucleotide-based medicines for neurodegenerative diseases.

US biotechnology companies Cajal Neuroscience and Creyon Bio have formed a strategic partnership aimed at developing oligonucleotide-based medicines to combat neurodegenerative diseases. Cajal combines genetic insights with advanced experimental capabilities to identify novel targets and develop therapeutics for neurodegeneration, while Creyon specializes in engineering OBMs with a focus on gene-centric therapies for a wide range of diseases.

The collaboration between the two companies is primarily centered on developing antisense oligonucleotides targeting multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Cajal’s role involves nominating targets and mechanisms of action based on their proprietary discovery platform, which combines genetics, multi-omics, and longitudinal clinical data. Creyon will be responsible for engineering therapeutic candidates with optimal pharmacological properties designed to minimize side effects. Cajal will then undertake validation and IND-enabling studies of the lead therapeutic candidates.

“We are well positioned to accelerate the development of much needed therapies for patients with common neurodegenerative disorders by combining Cajal’s target identification capabilities with our platform designed to engineer safe, effective, and ultimately best-in-class compounds,” said Dr Chris Hart, CEO of Creyon Bio. “This synergy between innovative target discovery capabilities and expert engineering of oligonucleotide-based medicines illustrates the strategic value of collaboration to advance new treatments for a myriad of diseases where there is high unmet need.”

Cajal, which launched in 2022 with a whopping $96m in funding, leverages genetics and multi-omics techniques to gain insights into the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. By combining various cutting-edge tools, including lightsheet microscopy and high-content imaging, Cajal aims to visualize and understand the molecular processes occurring during disease progression.

Cajal co-founders Dr Ian Peikon, and Dr Andrew Dervan said that oligonucleotides were a “promising modality for treating diseases of the central nervous system” and that the company had already identified novel targets that were “well suited” to the approach.