About 10-15 percent of all Multiple Sclerosis (MS) cases are diagnosed as Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), a debilitating, neurodegenerative disease that affects over 250,000 people globally. While many long-term therapies are approved for the more common form of MS, Relapsing Remitting MS, they are not effective in slowing progression in people with PPMS. Sadly, there is currently no approved or effective treatments, and strategies for the most part focus on relieving symptoms.
The Toronto-based startup Sagacere Therapeutics is developing a promising novel treatment for PPMS with neuroprotective and regenerative properties. Founded by Yuriy Baglaenko, the startup is investigating the use of SAGA1, a protein part of a family that has been shown to have important roles in neuronal regeneration and myelination. Although the cause of MS is unknown, SAGA1 has been shown to decrease over time in animal models of MS. However, when models are given SAGA1 during disease induction, disease severity reduce significantly.
The startup provide a unique opportunity for patients globally with a clear unmet need. Current treatment strategies focus on relieving symptoms, addressing problems like depression, sexual dysfunction and fatigue. However, SAGA1 target the disease itself, potentially slowing the progress of the disease and reducing disease severity. And although the team behind the startup is young, they have a diverse range of experience and are committed to developing the first effective treatment for PPMS, significantly improving quality of life for thousands of people worldwide.
Sagacere Therapeutics is a finalist at OneStart, the world’s largest life sciences and healthcare startup accelerator program. Their focus is to cultivate early-stage entrepreneurship among young and disruptive healthcare innovators, and below you can see the 1-min pitch from the founder of Sagacere, Yuriy Baglaenko.