Steroid Compound to Treat Neurodegenerative Diseases

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Swansea University


Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences

About The Opportunity:

Researchers at Swansea University have established that an endogenous cholesterol metabolite, 3β,7α-diHCA, has a neuroprotective effect on motor neurons and that its principal precursor, 3β-HCA, and a major metabolite, 3β,7β-diHC, have a neurotoxic effect. Modulation of the cholestenoic acid pathway may be effective as a therapeutic approach for motor neuron disease (MND) and researchers are currently investigating whether the relative steroid profile of cholestenoic acids is a possible early diagnostic test or surrogate marker for MND. It may also be possible to treat patients with 3β,7α-diHCA to restore the normal physiological neuroprotective effect.


  • The technology is expected to be utilised as a biomarker for MND. Potential applications as a treatment for MND are also currently being investigated.

Key Benefits:

  • Current diagnosis assessment for MND is poor and primarily based on ruling out other factors; this technology may offer a definitive diagnostic test;
  • May be utilised to determine potential genetic predisposition to disease;
  • Potential therapeutic treatment for MND.

IP Status:

The technology is claimed under UK patent application no. GB1303589.4


The invention is offered for exclusive or non-exclusive licence.