3Z Pharmaceuticals offers advanced behavioural modelling of zebrafish larvae to identify potential molecules for early drug discovery. Using this approach allows for faster, more effective and accurate results for pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs. The company has now received state backing for the further development of its ALS drug testing platform.

3Z Pharmaceuticals recently received a 2-year research grant for further refinement of its already established ALS assay, which will lead to vastly more effective ways of identifying pharmaceutical compounds for ALS drug development.

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) has no current cure and is the most common form of motor neuron disease (MND), affecting up to 2.4 people out of every 100,000. Only one drug is available for ALS treatment and its limited efficacy only increases life expectancy by 3 months; the usual being only 2-5 years post-diagnosis without treatment.

The funding, provided by the Icelandic Technology Development Fund will support the development of 4 completely new mutant strains of zebrafish larvae, each of which will be specifically tailored to express one of the four most common genes that cause ALS.

3Z specializes in behavioural analysis of zebrafish larvae. Thus, the grant will also be used to fund the effort of identifying measurable deficiencies in behaviour caused by each of the mutant components in question and to develop clear behavioural parameters that will serve as a measuring stick by which to judge potential drug efficacy.