Developing new ways to treat nerve damage and chronic pain using the body’s own proteins

Sinfonia Biotherapeutics uses the body’s reparative proteins to develop effective treatments for nerve damage and chronic pain. The therapies are developed for the treatment of diseases such as sciatica, diabetic pain, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and hearing loss.

Today, approximately 100 million people suffer from various diseases that affect the nervous system. In many cases, the nerve damage results in so-called chronic neuropathic pain. Sinfonia Biotherapeutics takes advantage of the body’s own proteins to repair damage to the nervous system and relieve pain.

We are currently conducting the necessary clinical studies to show that one of our products, SB0101, works both to treat the pain and to repair the damaged nerves”, says Lars Wahlberg, CEO and CMO at Sinfonia Biotherapeutics.

Kick-starting the body’s repair system

Some of our proteins have the ability to switch on the self-repairing functions of the nervous system. One of these is neublastin, SB0101, which Sinfonia is developing for the treatment of chronic sciatica and a range of other nerve injuries affecting the peripheral nervous system.

“SB0101 is given via an injection into the arm and activates the body’s own functions to repair damage to the nervous system. Here we have shown very positive results with, among other things, clinical “proof of concept” in patients with severe chronic sciatica. It is an indication for which there is currently no approved painkiller. Our hope is to be the first company to get a treatment for chronic sciatica pain approved.”

The same methodology can also be used to repair damage to the brain caused by conditions such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy and frontal lobe dementia. Although for these conditions, an injection in the arm is not enough because the brain is very effectively protected by the so-called blood-brain barrier. Instead, Sinfonia is developing a platform to – in simple terms – to place a small pharmaceutical “factory” in the damaged area of the brain. 

The factory consists of an implant with living cells that produce the necessary signaling proteins. When they leave the implant, it triggers a repair of the nerves directly in place.

“The technique of doing these brain surgeries is already well established in most neurosurgery centers in the world. With the help of the so-called stereotactic technique, we can place our implants in the desired area of the brain with very good precision.” 

These small pharmaceutical factories can be placed in an area where an epileptic seizure occurs, for example, or among nerve cells damaged by Parkinson’s or dementia.

Sinfonia Biotherapeutics’ focus on Parkinson’s has resulted in the company receiving a research grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF). 

Sinfonia’s solution combines advances in advanced therapy drugs (ATMPs) with medtech innovations. Several additional applications are planned, including an implant that can be placed in the inner ear to treat age-related hearing loss and hearing damage due to loud sound or noise.

“Our main focus is to use the signaling proteins to be able to create new treatments for diseases where there is currently a lack of effective treatments.” 

Today, Sinfonia Biotherapeutics is based in Flemingsberg and outside Boston, in the US. On Campus Flemingsberg the company has several research collaborations with well-known research groups from Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet.

“We hope to become part of the excellent research that is being done into ATPMs, which offers world-leading knowledge and the opportunity to develop new therapies all the way from idea to clinical trials,” Johan Lundkvist, vice president of Sinfonia Biotherapeutics.

Read more about Sinfonia Biotherapeutics.

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