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Clene Nanomedicne Receives Healthy Longevity Catalyst Award

May 20, 2021

Clene Inc. announced on Monday that the company received a Healthy Longevity Catalyst Award from the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to accelerate the preclinical development of CNM-Au8, a bioenergetic nanocatalyst, for treatment of neuronal aging-related deficits and Alzheimer’s disease.

The international award will fund preclinical study of CNM-Au8 nanocatalysis for the improvement of human health and lifespan in the contexts of aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Healthy Longevity Global Competition was founded in 2019 by NAM to ‘kickstart innovation by the world’s greatest minds’ to support worldwide healthy longevity.

NAM and its seven global collaborators received over 1500 applications and ultimately issued more than $7.7 million in prizes in the inaugural round of Catalyst Awards. Clene was awarded a NAM Catalyst Award based on the novelty and innovation of CNM-Au8 as a therapeutic approach to neuronal aging-related diseases. In addition to receiving a prize, awardees will participate in the first annual Healthy Longevity Innovator Summit in September 2021 to share their work with policy makers, researchers, and fellow innovators from around the world.

“We are delighted to have received this award from the U.S. National Academy of Medicine in recognition of the potential of our therapeutic nanocatalyst, CNM-Au8, to contribute to healthy longevity,” said Rob Etherington, President and Chief Executive Officer. “At Clene, we are dedicated to revolutionizing the treatment of neurodegenerative disease using bioenergetic nanocatalysts. The support from NAM provides an opportunity to potentially expand CNM-Au8’s target indications to additional neurodegenerative diseases of aging, including Alzheimer’s disease. CNM-Au8 is currently being investigated in four Phase 2 and one Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.”

“The fact that Clene was selected among a large group of contenders is clearly recognition of the important work the company is doing to bring cutting-edge therapies to patients with neurodegenerative disease,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, president and CEO of BioUtah.

The preclinical study of CNM-Au8 will be led by Dr. Karen Ho, Head of Translational Medicine at Clene, in collaboration with Assistant Professor Jerome Mertens of the University of Innsbruck (Austria), whose expertise lies in reprogramming human cells into directly induced neurons that retain epigenetic and metabolic markers of aging. The work aims to identify key mechanisms by which CNM-Au8 may impact age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Mertens of the Neural Aging Laboratory, Institute for Molecular Biology, University of Innsbruck, Austria, commented, “I am very excited about this project with Clene, and am grateful for the support coming from the National Academy of Medicine. Finding strategies to interfere with age-dependent neurodegeneration is a difficult process, but we are very optimistic that a great deal of information will be learned by testing CNM-Au8 in the context of its actual target cells, which are older human neurons.”