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SK biopharmaceuticals, Mayo to develop ALS drugs

SK biopharmaceuticals, a South Korean developer of new drugs, has entered into a three year agreement with Mayo Clinic to discover new drugs for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Under the deal, the companies will initially work on chemical compounds that target TDP-43, a protein that is a prime suspect in the disease.

With their three year collaboration, SK biopharmaceuticals will work with Leonard Petrucelli, Mayo Clinic’s chair and professor of Neuroscience.

SK Drug Development Business vice president Jeong Woo Cho said the collaboration aims to identify drug targets that help treat this fatal disease.

"The company will pursue Fast Track development for the compound to meet the urgent need of many patients," Cho said.

"In addition, the FDA permits designation as an Orphan disease for any disorder that affects fewer than 200,000 patients in the US to encourage research activity in rare diseases by the pharmaceutical industry."