Aurin Biotech was founded in 2012 to advance the discoveries made by the McGeer and Associates Laboratory at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Patrick L. McGeer is Canada’s most cited neuroscientist. Both he and his wife, Dr. Edith McGeer, are in the top 100 most cited neuroscientists in the world and their laboratory is well known for their work in neuroinflammation and neurodegenerative diseases, particularly  Alzheimer disease.

The McGeer laboratory first described the role of complement activation in the pathology of Alzheimer disease over 25 years ago. However, our team only recently discovered a collection of small molecules that are capable of inhibiting this ancient and powerful biochemical pathway.  The painstaking discovery process involved screening thousands of pharmaceutical and chemical agents for the desired activity. Through subsequent experiments we determined that our drug candidates are orally effective and are able to cross the blood brain barrier [1][2]

Based on these impressive results, our team founded Aurin Biotech to rapidly develop our lead drug candidate, AUR1107. AUR1107 has successfully passed compulsory pre-clinical safety studies and we are preparing for clinical trials to evaluate safety and efficacy in several conditions that are known to involve aberrant complement activation.

The McGeer Lab Team.

The McGeer Lab Team.

  • In seeking new pharmaceuticals for the treatment of Alzheimer disease, our team discovered a collection of remarkable molecules that are capable of blocking key biochemical pathways that are involved in a spectrum of human diseases where adequate therapy is not available.–Dr. Patrick McGeer

Dr. McGeer has prepared a brief lecture for those interested in learning more about the complement system’s role in various diseases and the discoveries that led him to found Aurin Biotech. Click here to view the presentation.

References & Further Reading

  • [1] Lee M, Guo J-P, Schwab C, McGeer EG, McGeer PL. Selective inhibition of the membrane attack complex of complement by low molecular weight components of the aurin tricarboxylic acid synthetic complex. Neurobiol Aging 2012; 33: 2237-2246. doi:10.1016/jneurobiolaging.2011.12.005

This paper describes the discovery of agents that will block formation of the membrane attack complex (MAC) in vitro and in vivo by binding to C9.

  • [2] Lee M, Guo J-P, McGeer EG, McGeer PL. Aurin tricarboxylic acid self-protects by inhibiting aberrant complement activation at the C3 convertase and C9 binding stages.  Neurobiol Aging 2013; 34: 1451-1461.

This paper describes the mechanism of action of our prototype drugs which bind to C9 and Factor D, inhibiting the alternative pathway at the C3 convertase stage as well as the C9 stage of MAC formation.

  • Lee M, McGeer PL. Aurin tricarboxylic acid protects against red blood cell hemolysis in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinemia. PLOS ONE 2014: 9 e87316. Doi 1371/journal.pone 0083716 .

This paper describes how our prototype agents can act to block the capacity of serum from PNH patients to hemolyze their red blood cells (RBCs), thus establishing them as potential treatments for PNH.