Shark antibodies could successfully transport drugs to brain

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

Danish drugmaker Lundbeck is working with Ossianix, a Philadelphia-based biotechnology firm, to develop new drugs that can more effectively reach the brain to treat Alzheimer's and other diseases, reports Reuters.

Lundbeck made an undisclosed payment to Ossianix on Thursday following experiments with mice that successfully transferred drugs across the blood-brain barrier — a protective sheath surrounding the brain's blood supply. While the barrier prevents germs and toxins from entering the brain, it also blocks helpful medicines.

Ossianix may have found a solution to this problem from an unlikely source — sharks.

The biotech discovered a method to attach therapeutic proteins to antibodies derived from sharks, which allows the treatments to easily travel across the barrier and into the brain, according to the report.

While the technology is still years away from reaching the market, Lundbeck's research head Kim Andersen said it holds "significant potential" to deliver antibody-based medicines and into the brain, reports Reuters.

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