Treeway BV and Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research collaborate on ALS therapy development


Treeway and Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) at the University of Leiden join forces and form a collaboration focused on the optimisation of clinical trial designs and data-analysis for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) through the use of population disease progression models. Furthermore both parties aim to obtain a better understanding of the disease by developing ALS physiology-based disease models and to test the effect of interventions in the different identified pathways.

The scope of this collaboration encompasses two assignments:

1. Development of a population disease progression model for ALS. Currently a phase 3 clinical trial with Treeway’s drug candidate TW001 is being developed. The availability of a mathematical model characterising both the average as well as individual time course of disease development will enable optimisation of the trial design, as well as a more effective analysis of the study data.

2. Development of an in silico ALS physiology-based disease model. This in silico ALS disease model should provide insight in the complex interaction between neurological and immunological processes, and the cell signalling networks in this. The model can be used to test what-if scenarios and explore the impact of interventions via different pathways.


Inez de Greef, chief executive officer of Treeway says, “By applying pharmacometric modelling and clinical trial simulations we can streamline our clinical development programmes for new treatments for ALS. In addition, the physiology-based model will provide direction to our discovery efforts. We are glad to work together with professor Piet Hein van der Graaf and his group at LACDR, as they are international leaders in this field.”

Professor Piet Hein van der Graaf, director of the LACDR and head of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Leiden believes the collaboration with Treeway signals an important trend in drug discovery and development: “Rare and neglected diseases have been ignored by large pharmaceutical companies due to the limited return on high-risk R&D investment. Therefore, collaborations like this between academics and small entrepreneurial biotech companies will be of vital importance to bring new medicines to patients in areas of high unmet medical need like ALS.”