Using Metabolomics to Identify Therapeutic Targets for ALS

Technology #ua15-066

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Archi Joardar
Postdoctoral Research Associate I, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Daniela Zarnescu
Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biology
Managed By
Lisa Lin
Licensing Manager (520) 626-6969

Background: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurological disorder characterized by the degeneration of motor neurons in the motor cortex of the brain and the spinal cord. ALS leads to paralysis and respiratory failure followed by death, usually within two to five years of diagnosis. Riluzole (Rilutek®) is the only drug with FDA approval for the treatment of ALS, but it has no impact on patient quality of life and marginal impact on patient survival. New treatments for ALS are thus desperately needed. Metabolomics is an emerging field within the biotechnology sector, with is judged by some market analysts to have extremely high commercial potential. Interest in using metabolomics to research ALS has increased in recent years.


Invention: This technology is a metabolomic profiling or screening method for use in recombinant drosophila models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).


Applications: The present invention allows for the detection of an in vivo metabolic signature that can be used to discover biomarkers for the sorts of pathologies that comprise a majority of ALS cases. These signatures can also be used to formulate personalized therapeutics for most ALS patients. The approach of this invention may also be used for drug discovery purposes to identify pathways altered in ALS, which in turn lead might lead to the discovery of new therapeutic targets for ALS.


Advantages: Because this method is based around the use of drosophila as a model of ALS, it has major advantages over the use of patient data gathered from large cohorts in terms of its ease of use, cost, and potential throughput.


Lead Inventors: Daniela C. Zarnescu, Patricia S. Estes


UAID: UA15-066


Licensing Manager:

Rakhi Gibbons

(520) 626-6695