London and Cambridge, UK - 22 January 2019 - Today, Abcam, a global innovator in life science reagents and tools, and the Loulou Foundation, a private UK-based foundation dedicated to the development of therapeutics for CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder, announced a research collaboration to discover new tools to advance research in this area of high unmet medical need.
Under this agreement, the Loulou Foundation will work closely with Abcam’s team of antibody development experts using its proprietary RabMAb® technology to generate novel rabbit monoclonal antibody reagents for detection of CDKL5 and its downstream kinase phosphorylation targets. In addition, this project has the potential to significantly enhance and accelerate research into CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder via development of new, more relevant high-throughput assays.
CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder is among the most prevalent monogenic neurodevelopmental and epileptic disorders, with an incidence rate of approximately 1 in 40,000 live births. Infantile spasms present shortly after birth, and progress to largely intractable epilepsy, along with neurodevelopmental delay impacting multiple domains. Current anti-epileptic treatments are only partially effective and there is no treatment for the neurodevelopmental delay.
Daniel Lavery, Chief Scientific Officer at the Loulou Foundation, commented: “Despite ongoing research, the mechanisms responsible for the neurodevelopmental delay and epilepsy caused by CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder remain unknown. The lack of quality reagents for detecting the expression and function of CDKL5 has been a significant hurdle to our understanding of the biology. We are excited to be partnering with Abcam on this critical project to identify and develop the vital tools to drive research into this devastating disorder.”
John Baker, SVP, Portfolio and Business Development at Abcam, commented: “Improved detection and characterization of the CDKL5 protein and its phosphorylation targets will significantly aid in pre-clinical and clinical research and help pave the way for more effective therapies. We are looking forward to a successful collaboration with the Loulou Foundation. We believe their disease area expertise will perfectly complement our in-house product development skills and capabilities, to drive much-needed progress and innovation in this project.”
As a global life sciences company, Abcam identifies, develops, and distributes high-quality biological reagents and tools that are crucial to research, drug discovery and diagnostics. Working across the industry, the Company supports life scientists to achieve their mission, faster.
Abcam partners with life science organisations to co-create novel binders for use in drug discovery, in vitro diagnostics and therapeutics, driven by the Company’s proprietary discovery platforms and world-leading, antibody expertise.
By constantly innovating its binders and assays, Abcam is helping advance the global understanding of biology and causes of disease, which enables new treatments and improved health. The Company’s pioneering data-sharing approach gives scientists increased confidence in their results by providing validation, user comments and peer-reviewed citations for its 110,000 products.
With eleven sites globally, many of Abcam’s 1,100 strong team are located in the world's leading life science research hubs, complementing a global network of services and support.
About the Loulou Foundation
Loulou Foundation is a private non-profit UK foundation dedicated to advancing research into the understanding and development of therapeutics for CDKL5 deficiency disorder. The Foundation funds important research projects at leading universities and institutes in the US and Europe, with a total of 31 separate projects in 41 labs at 30 different institutions so far, enabling the focused research of over 120 scientists.
The Loulou Foundation also hosts the CDKL5 Forum, the annual conference which has become the flagship meeting for CDKL5 deficiency disorder basic and clinical science. It has also launched the online portal to enable enhanced collaboration by researchers: www.cdkl5forum.org.
For more information on the Loulou Foundation, please visit www.louloufoundation.org.
CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder (CDD) is an X-linked genetic disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in the CDKL5 gene and results in seizures that typically begin in the first few months of life, as well as severe intellectual and gross motor impairment. The CDKL5 gene provides instructions for making a protein kinase enzyme that is essential for normal brain development. In the past, CDD was often misdiagnosed as an atypical form of Rett Syndrome but improved molecular and clinical diagnoses have identified CDD as a distinct clinical entity.
Issued for and on behalf of Abcam by Instinctif Partners.
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Tim WatsonAssociate Partner