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Using Zebrafish to Combat Cognitive Decline: How a Biopharmaceutical Company Leveraged a Zebrafish Model to characterize a Compound for Neurodegenerative Disease Therapeutics


A Massachusetts biopharma company developing therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease was able to accelerate their pre-clinical development by partnering with InVivo Biosystems to generate in vivo data in zebrafish. By using zebrafish, they were able to fast track the data generation needed for patent filings, grant applications, and follow on investments.



 A Massachusetts biopharmaceutical company approached InVivo Biosystems wanting to know how they could use zebrafish as a model organism to comprehensively test the effects of their neurodegenerative therapeutics. They needed to gather robust data to validate their compound’s neuroprotective potential, with the ultimate goal of using it as a therapeutic for neurodegenerative disorders. 



Partnering with InVivo Biosystems, the Massachusetts biopharma took a multistep approach to their project. First, InVivo Biosystems utilized a chemical model in order to mimic the effects of neurodegeneration targeted by the Massachusetts biopharma’s therapeutic, Compound X. We then carried out an experiment in the zebrafish model to test the neuroprotective effects of Compound X. Using this paradigm, InVivo Biosystems was able to rapidly examine the molecular effects of the Massachusetts’s compound and  generate robust data within weeks.


Download this Customer Story to learn more about how zebrafish can be used to accelerate drug development. 

About The Author

Alexandra Narin

Alexandra is the Marketing Content Manager and Grant Writer for InVivo Biosystems. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2020 where she earned a Joint MA Honours Degree in English & Psychology/Neuroscience with BPS [British Psychology Society] Accreditation. She has worked as a research assistant, examining the LEC's (lateral entorhinal cortex) involvement in spatial memory and integrating long term multimodal item-context associations, and completed her dissertation on how the number and kinds of sensory cues affect memory persistence across timescales. Her hobbies include running, boxing, and reading.

About The Author

Joseph Bruckner

Joseph is a Senior Scientist on the transgenics and phenotyping teams at InVivo Biosystems. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colorado College before completing his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his PhD, Joseph used Drosophila fruit flies to study the molecular regulation of synapse form and function. Joseph then completed postdoctoral work at the University of Oregon addressing how host-associated microbes influence zebrafish brain development and social behavior. Outside of the laboratory, Joseph enjoys outdoor pursuits including camping, hiking, kitesurfing, and skiing.

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