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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

Therapeutic Strategies for Huntington’s Disease

  • Project Leaders: Michael Hayden
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $417810
  • Program/Competition: Other Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by onset of chorea and psychiatric disturbances usually in middle age, accompanied by a decline in cognition and eventual death 15?20 years after initial symptoms. The underlying cause of HD is well established – those that inherit a mutated huntingtin gene will, at some point, develop the disease. The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) estimates that there are 30,000 US patients suffering from HD and there is currently no cure. The objective of this project at CDRD was to identify and further develop small molecule inhibitors of Caspase 6, an enzyme involved in HD progression. Unfortunately a compound with suitable potency and selectivity could not be achieved from the lead compounds identified in the screen. Based on these results the decision was made to close out the project. Dr. Hayden continues to work on identifying inhibitors of caspase 6 within his laboratory.