European Patent Granted for an invention from Nencki Institute and Case Western Reserve University

The European Patent Office has issued a decision to grant a patent for an invention entitled "Prion protein-dendrimer conjugates for use in treatment of Alzheimer disease" (Patent No.: EP3468577; authors: Krzysztof Nieznański, Hanna Nieznańska, Witold K. Surewicz, Krystyna Surewicz, Magdalena Bandyszewska).

The invention was created as a result of research under the direction of Dr. Krzysztof Nieznański carried out at the Nencki Institute in the Laboratory of Molecular Basis of Cell Motility, in cooperation with the team of Prof. Witold Surewicz from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA.

Oligomers of Aβ peptide are strong neurotoxins and their presence correlates with the progression of pathological changes in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), especially the so-called familial form of this disease (fAD). Thus the potential therapies for this disease are considered to inhibit the formation of toxic Aβ oligomers and/or neutralize already formed Aβ oligomers. Our research has led to the identification of short peptides - prion protein fragments, effectively inhibiting the neurotoxicity of Aβ oligomers in neuronal culture (Nieznanska et al., 2018). We conjugated these peptides with a carrier (modified dendrimers) allowing for their transport through the blood-brain barrier and increasing their effectiveness and biostability. Since these novel conjugates inhibit the formation of neurotoxic Aβ oligomers as well as neutralize already formed oligomers, we presume that they can be useful both in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Recently, the team's findings were published (Nieznanska et al., 2021), indicating even broader neuroprotective effects of prion protein fragments.

The subject of the patent are the said conjugates and the procedure of their synthesis. Previously, the Nencki Institute was granted patent protection for the invention in the U.S. (Patent No.: US 10815292).

The research that led to the invention was financed by the grant HARMONIA 2013/10/M/NZ4/00311 awarded by the National Science Centre to Dr. Krzysztof Nieznański.

The Institute is seeking a partner in the process of commercialization of the invention. For more information please contact Dr. Dorota Gierej-Czerkies:

tel.: (+48 22) 5892 263


Date of publication
21 September 2021