Approach

Disarm is creating breakthrough disease-modifying therapeutics for patients with neurological diseases by directly treating axonal degeneration, which underlies a broad range of diseases of the central, ocular and peripheral nervous systems.

SARM1 was identified by Disarm’s scientific founders as the central driver of axonal degeneration. We are developing SARM1 inhibitors, a novel class of therapeutics, using our product engine.

Axonal degeneration

Axons are nerve fibers that play vital roles throughout the nervous system. Axons serve as transmission lines between neurons, carrying signals across distances as long as a meter.

All axons are vulnerable to degeneration, due to an active process of self-destruction caused by diverse pathologic triggers and which results in a wide range of symptoms such as loss of motor function, cognitive decline and severe pain.

Axonal degeneration is a common yet unaddressed pathology in a broad range of neurological diseases and injuries. The ability to stop this destructive process holds great disease-modifying promise. 

The loss of axons causes disability and disease progression in chronic and acute diseases of the central, ocular, and peripheral nervous systems such as multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, glaucoma, and peripheral neuropathies, among others.

SARM1

SARM1 is the central driver of axonal degeneration.

Solving the puzzle of axonal degeneration has challenged scientists and physicians ever since Augustus Waller’s seminal observations in the 19th century.

In the March 2017 issue of Neuron, our scientific founders, Drs. Jeffrey Milbrandt and Aaron DiAntonio of Washington University in St. Louis, reported that the SARM1 protein possesses an enzymatic activity that is itself the central driver of axonal degeneration.

We are uniquely positioned to develop breakthrough therapies to “disarm” this degenerative process.

Product engine

Based on our scientific founders’ discoveries, for the first time, we have a therapeutic target to directly address axonal degeneration.  

Our team has built a product engine to create a new class of disease-modifying therapeutics for a broad range of diseases of the central, ocular, and peripheral nervous systems.

  • Novel composition-of-matter with multiple chemical series
  • Proprietary structural knowledge of the SARM1 protein
  • Expertise in axonal degeneration biology with leaders in the field
  • High-content, proprietary screening assays
  • Animal models of chronic and acute neurological diseases
  • Translational biomarkers
  • Intellectual property covering composition-of-matter, methods of drug discovery and treatment

Disarm has discovered novel, potent SARM1 inhibitors and is advancing them in preclinical development. 

We have also developed translational strategies to non-invasively assess target engagement and quantify pharmacodynamic effects including changes in axonal structure and function that support early clinical proof-of-concept.

Disarm has rights to key SARM1 discoveries made by our scientific founders through an exclusive license agreement with Washington University in St. Louis.