NOD2 is a research program hailing from Université Laval and the Research Center of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec. The venture capital fund identified the opportunity in close collaboration with SOVAR, a group active in the promotion of university research. The invention of Dr. Jean Gosselin and Dr. Serge Rivest targets NOD2, a key regulator of immune and inflammatory responses.
Dr. Rivest is leading the project. His previous work in this field, and more specifically as it relates to NOD2, a receptor expressed by myeloid cells (including monocytes and microglia), has demonstrated that NOD2 agonism has striking implications for certain functions of monocytes. He showed that NOD2 activation in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease has a strong effect on the clearance of circulating beta amyloid via blood vessels of the brain. He leverages an imaging tool that allows real-time view of monocyte phagocytotic activity following treatment with an agonist of NOD2, and this catalyzed our interest for this program.