Invention: MANF fragment protecting pancreatic b-cells and neurons.
Indication: Diabetes, degenerative disorders of the brain.
Unmet need: Disease modifying therapy.
IP Status: Patent applications pending.
Project phase: Lead optimisation.
Our research group is investigating the signaling and biological functions of endoplasmic reticulum located CDNF/MANF neurotrophic factor families, both within and outside of the nervous system. We are also interested in the therapeutic potential of these proteins and their active fragments in various diseases. We recently developed MANF knockout mice, which develop severe insulin-deficient diabetes due to progressive postnatal reduction of the insulin producing β-cell mass. We have now identified novel fragments of MANF being protective to neuronal cells and capable of enhancing the proliferation of insulin producing b-cells, thus providing new, disease-modifying therapeutic avenues for diabetes and CNS disorders.