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Amarantus CSO to Present on PhenoGuard Data at Astrocytes in Health and Neurodegenerative Disease in London

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:AMBS), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics related to cell cycle dysregulation, endoplasmic reticulum stress, neurodegeneration and apoptosis, today announced that Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer John W. Commissiong, PhD will present preliminary data on PhenoGuard, the Company's proprietary neurotrophic growth factor discovery platform that yielded the discovery of MANF, at the "Astrocytes in Health and Neurodegenerative Disease: A joint Biochemical Society/British Neuroscience Association Focused Meeting" conference in London, England.

The abstract entitled "Protoplasmic type-1 astrocytes are sources of drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases." focuses on Dr. Commissiong's progress in identifying new neutrophic factors from the Company's library of 88 PhenoGuard astrocyte cell lines. To date, two neurotrophic factors, MANF and CDNF, have been discovered as a result of this work. A summary of the preliminary data on the identification of a second neurotrophic factor family is below:

  • To date, we have screened 37 of our library of 88 astrocyte cell lines. All 37 ACMs screened to date secrete neuroprotective molecules, and several meet the criteria for further analysis as potential drug candidates for PD. We are beginning to analyze the effects of different ACM on the six sub-types of dopaminergic neurons present in the nigral cell culture and in vivo. One ACM protected 3 of the 6 subtypes, while another protected only one. It is unknown if selective death of dopaminergic subtypes occurs in different Parkinsonian brains. If yes, these preliminary results could have important implications for the way in which future clinical trials of neurotrophic factors for Parkinson's disease are conducted.

"We are pleased to re-engage with the research community regarding our PhenoGuard discovery platform, now that MANF has achieved proof of concept across a number of therapeutic indications, and is on a path for first-in-man studies in retinal disorders and Parkinson's disease," said Gerald C. Commissiong, President & CEO of Amarantus. "We believe the discovery of a second family of neurotrophic factors would represent a sea-change in the research community and further validate the uniqueness and value of our technology."

About Amarantus

Amarantus is a biotechnology company developing treatments and diagnostics for diseases associated with neurodegeneration and protein misfolding-related apoptosis. The Company has licensed Eltoprazine ("Eltoprazine"), a phase 2b ready indication for Parkinson's Levodopa induced dyskinesia and Adult ADHD. The Company has an exclusive worldwide license to the Lymphocyte Proliferation test ("LymPro Test(R)") for Alzheimer's disease and owns the intellectual property rights to a therapeutic protein known as Mesencephalic-Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor ("MANF") and is developing MANF-based products as treatments for brain disorders. Amarantus is a Founding Member of the Coalition for Concussion Treatment (#C4CT), a movement initiated in collaboration with Brewer Sports International seeking to raise awareness of new treatments in development for concussions and nervous-system disorders. The Company also owns intellectual property for the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease ("NuroPro") and the discovery of neurotrophic factors ("PhenoGuard"). For further information please visit www.Amarantus.com, or connect with the Company on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

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ASTROCYTES IN HEALTH and NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE:

A joint Biochemical Society/British Neuroscience Association Focused Meeting.

28-29 April 2014

ABSTRACT

Protoplasmic type-1 astrocytes are sources of drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. John Commissiong, CSO: Amarantus BioScience Holdings Inc, C/o Janssen Labs @QB3, 953 Indiana Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

By the beginning of the 1990s, it was clear that the traditional "clean up" role assigned to astrocytes in brain function was overly simplistic (Murphy et al., 1993). Protoplasmic type-1 astrocytes rival neurons in cellular complexity, production and secretion of neuroactive molecules and modulation of synaptic transmission (Vesce et al., 1999;Panatier et al., 2011;Nedergaard M et al., 2008). Most of the known neurotrophic factors and extracellular matrix molecules are produced by astrocytes. These molecules mediate critical brain functions including neuroprotection, neurogenesis and synaptogenesis (Nakayama et al., 2003;Christopherson et al., 2005). Astrocytes inhabit individual microanatomical domains, their dendritic arbors hardly overlap, and completely envelop neurons (Bushong et al., 2002). Therefore astrocyte-neuron communication is homotypic and local. On the basis of these data, we hypothesized, and subsequently demonstrated that astrocyte conditioned medium (ACM) prepared from ventral mesencephalic astrocytes would be more potent and specific in protecting nigral dopaminergic neurons versus conditioned media derived from striatal or cerebral cortical astrocytes (Takeshima et al., 1994). We then created a discovery platform of immortalized astrocye cell lines derived from the ventral mesencephalon of the fetal rat brain, combined with a bioassay optimized to detect molecules that selectively protect nigral dopaminergic neurons. We then screened ACM from several clones and discovered mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor or MANF (18 kDa, 158-AA, 2-domains) from ACM prepared from the VMCL-1 clone. rhMANF protected nigral DA neurons, but not GABAergic or serotonergic neurons in vitro (Petrova et al., 2003). MANF and its homologue, conserved dopaminergic neurotrophic factor (CDNF) make up the most recently identified family of neurotrophic factors (Lindholm and Saarma, 2010). To date, we have screened 37 of our library of 88 astrocyte cell lines. All 37 ACMs screened to date secrete neuroprotective molecules, and several meet the criteria for further analysis as potential drug candidates for PD. We are beginning to analyze the effects of different ACM on the six sub-types of dopaminergic neurons present in the nigral cell culture and in vivo. One ACM protected 3 of the 6 subtypes, while another protected only one. It is unknown if selective death of dopaminergic subtypes occurs in different Parkinsonian brains. If yes, these preliminary results could have important implications for the way in which future clinical trials of neurotrophic factors for Parkinson's disease are conducted.

References

Bushong et al (2002) Protoplasmic astrocytes in CA1 stratum radiatum occupy separate anatomical domains. J Neurosci 22:183-192.

Christopherson et al (2005) Thrombospondins Are Astrocyte-Secreted Proteins that Promote CNS Synaptogenesis. Cell 120:421-433.

Lindholm P, Saarma M (2010) Novel CDNF/MANF Family of Neurotrophic Factors. Dev Neurobiol 70:360-371.

Murphy et al (1993) Rapid communication between neurons and astrocytes in primary cortical cultures. J Neurosci 13:2672-2679.

Nakayama T, Momoki-Soga T, Inoue N (2003) Astrocyte-derived factors instruct differentiation of embryonic stem cells into neurons. Neurosci Res 46:241-249.

Nedergaard M, RB, Goldman SA (2008) New roles for astrocytes: redefining the functional architecture of the brain. Trends Neurosci 26:523-530.

Panatier et al (2011) Astrocytes Are Endogenous Regulators of Basal Transmission at Central Synapses. pp 785-798.

Petrova et al (2003) MANF: a new mesencephalic, astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor with selectivity for dopaminergic neurons. J Mol Neurosci 20:173-188.

Takeshima et al (1994) Mesencephalic type 1 astrocytes rescue dopaminergic neurons from death induced by serum deprivation. J Neurosci 14:4769-4779.

Vesce S, Bezzi P, Volterra A (1999) The active role of astrocytes in synaptic transmission. Cell Mol Life Sci 56:991-1000.

CONTACT: Investor/Media Contacts Aimee Boutcher, Director of Investor Relations Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc. 408-737-2734 x 101 ir@amarantus.com

Source:Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc.