Inscopix announced a new research effort that leverages its brain mapping platform and single-cell transcriptomics for a more nuanced understanding of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and identification of novel targets for therapeutic development.

The research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Evan Macosko at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a leading expert in transcriptomics.

The research builds on a 2018 study published in Nature by Stanford researchers that used Inscopix’s miniature microscope platform to identify changes in neural activity patterns in brain circuits that regulate movement, in a PD mouse model. The model is characterized by the loss of dopamine neurons, a hallmark of the disease, and is routinely used in preclinical research.

Leveraging each organization’s expertise, the research will determine whether changes in neuronal activity can be correlated at a cellular level with changes in gene expression that might result from the depletion of dopamine in the mouse model. The investigators hope that by combining the functional and gene expression datasets, they will derive a multidimensional and comprehensive understanding of PD and also set the foundation for the development of precision neurotherapeutics for the disease through the identification of novel, cell-type-specific druggable targets. The Macosko Lab and Inscopix will share rights to any discoveries made through the collaboration.

“Single-cell transcriptomics and brain mapping have each demonstrated the potential to increase our understanding of neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, and bringing them together could help us make even greater strides forward,” Kunal Ghosh, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Inscopix. “We look forward to expanding our research into PD with the Macosko Lab, with the goal of paving the way for therapeutic programs that can be de-risked at earlier stages of development.”

PD has been selected as the first disease area for this pilot program to assess the potential of utilizing both brain mapping and transcriptomics to advance new therapeutic approaches. If successful, Inscopix and the Macosko Lab will assess the potential to collaborate surrounding additional neurological conditions.

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s disease affects over 10 million people globally.

Source: Company Press Release