A new partnership between University of Southern California (USC), Sanofi, and startup company DRVision Technologies, with funding from the Department of Defense, aims to identify new candidate drug for treating ALS. Led by Justin Ichida from USC, the research partners will leverage a platform developed by Ichida to screen compounds on motor neurons generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from ALS patients with a C9orf72 mutation, the most common known genetic cause of ALS. Ichida will screen 2,000 FDA-approved compounds in his laboratory, while Sanofi will test over 40 thousand additional compounds. The most promising ‘hits’ may be further developed by Sanofi chemists into safe drugs to enter human trials.
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