Oct 6, 2014 – Alectos today announced its support for NSERC funding for the group of Prof. M.J. Boulanger at the University of Victoria, Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, in a project titled “Cloning and expression of human glucocerebrosidase”.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a worldwide health problem that is characterized by the buildup of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, loss of neurons, and behavioural symptoms. Mutations in the enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GCase) are the most common genetic risk factor for development of PD. Numerous studies have noted a correlation between reduced GCase activity and increased levels of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, but the relationship remains poorly understood. The collaboration between Alectos Therapeutics and the Boulanger group at UVic aims to develop and optimize methods for producing glucocerebrosidase. These methods will be used to produce protein to support basic biochemical studies to clarify the relationship between GCase and PD. The success of this project may lead to a better understanding of GCase properties and mechanism and could ultimately result in new strategies to develop therapies for Parkinson’s disease.