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28 January, 2019 - 13:01 By Tony Quested

Abcam helping to develop research tools for major deficiency disorder

Cambridge antibody technology from Abcam is at the heart of a UK partnership designed to develop solutions to fight a serious deficiency disorder.

Abcam has joined forces with the Loulou Foundation which is dedicated to the development of therapeutics for CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder; this is an area of high unmet medical need.

The Foundation will work closely with Abcam’s team of antibody development experts using the company’s proprietary RabMAb® technology to generate novel rabbit monoclonal antibody reagents for detection of CDKL5 and its downstream kinase phosphorylation targets. 

The project also has the potential to significantly enhance and accelerate research into CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder via the development of new, more relevant high-throughput assays.

CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder is among the most prevalent monogenic neurodevelopmental and epileptic disorders, with an incidence rate of approximately 1 in 40,000 live births. Infantile spasms present shortly after birth, and progress to largely intractable epilepsy, along with neurodevelopmental delay impacting multiple domains. 

Current anti-epileptic treatments are only partially effective and there is no treatment for the neurodevelopmental delay.

Daniel Lavery, chief scientific officer at the Loulou Foundation, said: “Despite ongoing research, the mechanisms responsible for the neurodevelopmental delay and epilepsy caused by CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder remain unknown.

“The lack of quality reagents for detecting the expression and function of CDKL5 has been a significant hurdle to our understanding of the biology. We are excited to be partnering with Abcam on this critical project to identify and develop the vital tools to drive research into this devastating disorder.”

John Baker (pictured), SVP, Portfolio and Business Development at Abcam, added: “Improved detection and characterisation of the CDKL5 protein and its phosphorylation targets will significantly aid in pre-clinical and clinical research and help pave the way for more effective therapies. 

“We are looking forward to a successful collaboration with the Loulou Foundation. We believe their disease area expertise will perfectly complement our in-house product development skills and capabilities, to drive much-needed progress and innovation in this project.”

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