Prana Biotechnology (PRAN) advanced over 8% Tuesday morning after saying it has started a research collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals International to study the ability of Prana’s investigational movement disorders compound, PBT434, to slow or prevent neurodegeneration of the gastrointestinal system. One of the important non-motor features of Parkinson’s disease is often the early presentation of severe and disabling impairment of gastrointestinal function. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the loss of neurons and their networks in the brain and in the gut, the company noted.
The cause of neurodegeneration and gastrointestinal dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease is not known, but the protein alpha-synuclein has been hypothesized to be implicated in this process. The research collaboration will investigate the ability of investigational compound PBT434 to mitigate gastrointestinal dysfunction; constipation, lowered colon motility and inflammation in mouse models, including an alpha-synuclein transgenic mouse.