Stem Pharm Inc., a drug discovery platform company leveraging 3D neuro-immune organoids and Verge Genomics, a biotechnology company transforming drug discovery using artificial intelligence (AI) and patient tissue data, announced a collaboration to develop a disease model to validate novel targets identified by Verge for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The complexity and variability of the disease have posed significant challenges in the development of effective therapies. Recognizing the urgent need for innovation, Verge and Stem Pharm have joined forces to leverage cutting-edge human-first technologies and expertise. The collaboration will focus on harnessing the power of neural organoids, which are 3D models of human neural tissue derived from stem cells. Neural organoids provide a unique platform to study the intricacies of the disease and simulate its progression in a laboratory setting. By creating a Parkinson’s disease model using neural organoids, the companies aim to gain invaluable insights into the underlying mechanisms of the disease and validate potential drug targets.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with Verge to apply our neuro-immune organoid platform to Parkinson’s disease,” said Steven Visuri, CEO of Stem Pharm. “Verge’s all-in-human approach to drug discovery aligns perfectly with our ideology, and by combining our strengths and resources, we aim to establish a state-of-the-art Parkinson’s disease model. This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our collective mission to discover transformative therapies for patients suffering from this debilitating disease.”

Stem Pharm’s innovative 3D human neuro-immune organoids feature microglia, the brain’s resident immune cells, making them particularly suited to study diseases associated with neuroinflammation, such as neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. These diseases have limited options for therapeutic interventions and are associated with some of the lowest drug approval rates. Stem Pharm is changing the drug discovery paradigm for these diseases by developing physiologically relevant human biology for use in early drug discovery to explore disease pathways, identify and validate novel targets, and discover new therapeutic candidates.