(August 24, 2020) A collaboration between professor Webster Santos and University of Virginia professor Kevin Lynch has received a Proof-of-Concept grant from a new program offered by Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties with LINK + LICENSE + LAUNCH. The pair have been working on drugs that have the potential to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).

Multiple sclerosis is a complex neurodegenerative disease caused by destruction of the myelin sheath that coats neurons. This destruction is caused by the sphinogosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which is transported by an enzyme, spns2. The idea is to block spns2 to disrupt the signal to destroy the myelin sheath. Anti-MS effects have been demonstrated in proof-of-principle studies with mice. The grant will support studies on the efficacy of spns2 inhibitors in mouse models as the next step towards developing a new drug for MS.

Read more about the inaugural group of Proof-of-Concept program recipients here.