2010 Archives

University of Texas at Dallas, Southern Methodist University team up in search of Alzheimer's treatments


The following is from the December 17, 2010, edition of The Dallas Morning News. James Quick, associate vice president for research at SMU, was interviewed for this story, which concerns research by a team lead by SMU Chemistry Professor Ed Biehl.

December 17, 2010

The Dallas Morning News

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University  said Thursday they have partnered to develop treatments for Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases.

The schools negotiated an exclusive license with Dallas-based start-up EncephRX to work with a specific set of chemical compounds.

The compounds, called benzoxazines, were first tested in neurons derived from rodent brains. By further isolating structures within those compounds, researchers identified small molecules that protected nerve cells against damage.

The compounds have the potential of slowing or stopping the relentless loss of brain cells in neurodegenerative diseases, said Dr. Santosh D'Mello, professor of molecular and cell biology at UTD.

"These are very promising early signs of therapeutic potential in people," D'Mello said.

James Quick, associate vice president for research at SMU, said he's hopeful the venture will be successful, but it's too soon to get overly excited.

"The actual number of compounds that eventually get FDA approval is a very low percentage," Quick said. "One doesn't want to get wildly optimistic, but we are optimistic."

Read the full story.

Read more about the research.

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