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Axial Biotherapeutics Announces a Research Grant Award from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for the Development of an Enteric Nervous System Model to Assess Novel Parkinson’s Disease Therapeutics

WALTHAM, Mass., July 28, 2020 – Axial Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to building a unique class of gut-targeted therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders, today announces it has received a research grant of $440,000 from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) through its Therapeutic Pipeline Program. The award will enable development of a novel in vitro model system of the enteric nervous system derived from alpha-synuclein overexpressing (ASO) mice to support the discovery of a small molecule for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

“We are honored to have the support of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. This new funding provides Axial with great validation from the world’s largest nonprofit funder of PD research and allows us to advance our drug discovery approach by producing a model of the enteric nervous system to study and test the effects of drug candidates on synucleinopathy,” said David H. Donabedian, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Axial Biotherapeutics. “PD is a complex neurodegenerative disease for which novel therapies are needed. Through our scientific rationale, centered on harnessing the gut-brain axis, we believe that we can alleviate motor and gastrointestinal symptoms associated with the disease.”

“Our Foundation is dedicated to accelerating progress toward a cure for Parkinson’s and improved therapies for patients living with the disease today,” said Marco Baptista, PhD, MJFF, Vice President Research Programs. “Crucial to that work is creation of model systems with which to interrogate disease biology and test novel therapies, and we are proud to support Axial in this effort.”

The MJFF Therapeutic Pipeline Program supports development and testing of interventions with the potential to fundamentally alter disease course and/or significantly improve the treatment of symptoms of PD above current standards of care.

About Axial Therapeutics

Axial Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of gut-restricted, small molecule therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The company is leveraging its expertise in the gut-brain axis and its unique drug development platform to advance novel therapies that have the potential to transform the treatment paradigm in neurological diseases. Axial is advancing a pipeline of small molecule product candidates with lead clinical programs that address underlying pathology and resulting symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and additional preclinical initiatives in small molecules in other areas of autism and PD, as well as oncology and rare CNS diseases.

Contacts for Axial Therapeutics


Mike Beyer
Sam Brown, Inc.


Jeffrey Young, CFO

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