Bionure develops neuroprotectant agents to treat neurodegenerative diseases, primarily focusing on rare ophthalmologic diseases as Acute Optic Neuritis (AON) and Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). Patients affected by these rare ophthalmological diseases may become blind or, in severe cases of NMO, even die.
AON and NMO are caused when immune system reacts against its own cells in the central nervous system and produces inflammation and demyelination of the optic nerve (that can extend to spinal cord and brain in NMO). Currently, there are no neuroprotective drugs in the market for AON and NMO. Patients are treated with corticosteroids (and immunomodulators in NMO) that reduces inflammation but do not repair the damage of the nerve. AON and NMO affects more than 130,000 patients every year only in Europe and the United States.
The lead compound developed by Bionure, BN201, has demonstrated neuroprotective activity and stimulates remyelination. Both actions combined make it a promising solution for AON and NMO patients and open a research pathway to treat other neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS).