Our Approach

What are Glial Cells? Close

Glial Cells are a type of cell in the brain that do not generate electrical signals like neurons and have therefore been considered for a long time as a sort of "glue" that simply provides structural support to neurons. Research over the last three decades has shown that glial cells are actually very active elements of brain function. Of note is the fact that glial cells outnumber neurons in the nervous system by a 1.5 to 2-fold factor. Our interest at GliaPharm lies in particular in the activity of a type of glial cell called 'astrocyte', which plays a key role in providing energy to neurons, maintaining homeostasis, and supporting neuronal health, survival and function.

GliaPharm's pioneering approach is to stimulate the neuroprotective action of glial cells to treat certain types of neurological and psychiatric disorders. These pathologies, which all share similar glial and metabolic dysfunctions, include Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairments (MCI), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and depression. GliaPharm has established a drug discovery platform centered on glial cells activity and brain metabolism. The company is developing its pipeline program to establish a new class of agents for neuroprotection and maintenance of cognitive functions.

The brain is a highly complex organ that needs substantial amounts of energy to function. While it only represents 2% of the body weight, it requires about 25% of the energy consumed every day. Dysfunction in the regulation of brain metabolism is hence a common feature of several neurological diseases.

The brain is composed of a number of cells that have specific and diverse functions. Neurons are the cells responsible to transmit, process and store the information. Other types of cells in the brain called glial cells – and in particular astrocytes – support neuronal function and provide neuroprotection. These cells, which outnumber neurons in the nervous system, provide neurons with specific nutriments, maintain homeostasis, control brain metabolism and protect neurons against stressors.

While the importance of glial cells has been overseen in drug development so far, it is now clear that these cells play a key role in sustaining brain function and neuroprotection. Targeting glial cells hence represents an innovative approach for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders based on strong scientific evidence.

Schematic representation of the functional connectivity between neurons, astrocytes and a capillary in the brain

Our Approach

What are Glial Cells? Close

Glial Cells are a type of cell in the brain that do not generate electrical signals like neurons and have therefore been considered for a long time as a sort of "glue" that simply provides structural support to neurons. Research over the last three decades has shown that glial cells are actually very active elements of brain function. Of note is the fact that glial cells outnumber neurons in the nervous system by a 1.5 to 2-fold factor. Our interest at GliaPharm lies in particular in the activity of a type of glial cell called 'astrocyte', which plays a key role in providing energy to neurons, maintaining homeostasis, and supporting neuronal health, survival and function.

GliaPharm's pioneering approach is to stimulate the neuroprotective action of glial cells to treat certain types of neurological and psychiatric disorders. These pathologies, which all share similar glial and metabolic dysfunctions, include Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairments (MCI), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and depression. GliaPharm has established a drug discovery platform centered on glial cells activity and brain metabolism. The company is developing its pipeline program to establish a new class of agents for neuroprotection and maintenance of cognitive functions.

The brain is a highly complex organ that needs substantial amounts of energy to function. While it only represents 2% of the body weight, it requires about 25% of the energy consumed every day. Dysfunction in the regulation of brain metabolism is hence a common feature of several neurological diseases.

The brain is composed of a number of cells that have specific and diverse functions. Neurons are the cells responsible to transmit, process and store the information. Other types of cells in the brain called glial cells – and in particular astrocytes – support neuronal function and provide neuroprotection. These cells, which outnumber neurons in the nervous system, provide neurons with specific nutriments, maintain homeostasis, control brain metabolism and protect neurons against stressors.

While the importance of glial cells has been overseen in drug development so far, it is now clear that these cells play a key role in sustaining brain function and neuroprotection. Targeting glial cells hence represents an innovative approach for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders based on strong scientific evidence.

Schematic representation of the functional connectivity between neurons, astrocytes and a capillary in the brain