Dutch biotechnology group Pharming is to receive a cash boost to help fund research into treatments for premature ageing diseases.

The Leiden-headquartered company said that its DNage subsidiary will head a collaborative R&D consortium which has been given a 905,000 euro grant by SenterNovem, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. DNage’s partners in the project, which is being financed initially for three years, are the Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen Germany, and fellow Dutch group Pyxis Discovery.

The paln is to design new drug development tools aimed at discovery of new therapeutics to treat premature ageing diseases. In addition, DNage will collaborate with the Leiden University Medical Centre to identify unique biomarkers of such diseases to help develop new therapies.

Pharming noted that it has filed “several patent applications based on the work performed in this field during the past few years” and this additional funding will accelerate the start of a clinical programme later this year for a new product called Prodarsan. The latter, which is based on the firm’s DNage technology, is a potential treatment of premature ageing diseases, such as Cockayne syndrome.

This latest news comes just over a month after DNage entered into a Parkinson and Alzheimer disease research consortium with Belgium’s Solvay.