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KineMed, CHDI Foundation Collaborate on Huntington's Disease Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – KineMed and CHDI Foundation announced late on Monday a partnership to use KineMed's technology to investigate the turnover rates of huntingtin protein, which plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease.

Under the terms of the partnership, KineMed's tandem mass spectrometry will be used to measure in vivo dynamics of the huntingtin protein, including protein half-life and synthesis rate, allowing for the evaluation of the rate of metabolism of the huntingtin protein as a function of polyQ length and whether investigational drugs have an effect on its production and clearance, the partners said.

Currently, no approved therapeutics exist that can slow down the progress of Huntington's disease, an inherited neurodegenerative disorder affecting about 30,000 people in the US. Another 150,000 people in the country are at risk of developing the disease, KineMed and CHDI said.

"The application of KineMed's technology will provide us with unique insights into central nervous system disease pathophysiology," Seung Kwak, director of Target Biology for CHDI, said in a statement. Kwak added that the collaboration hopefully "will help define the dynamics of the mutant protein in disease-relevant tissues, and ultimately help measure therapeutic efficacy for Huntington's disease."

Scott Turner, executive vice president of R&D at KineMed, said, "This deeper understanding ultimately contributes toward targeting mechanisms at the core of the disease pathway, accelerating the development of therapeutics that can provide real hope for Huntington's patients."

KineMed is based in Emeryville, Calif., and specializes in identifying and measuring the dynamic biochemical processes that cause disease. CHDI is a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to discovering and developing therapies for Huntington's disease.