Allon Therapeutics Inc.

Allon Therapeutics Inc.

January 24, 2007 08:30 ET

Michael J. Fox Foundation Funds Allon to Evaluate AL-108 for Parkinson's Disease

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 24, 2007) - Allon Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:NPC), The Neuro Protection Company™, today announced it has received funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) to evaluate the effectiveness of Allon's lead drug AL-108 in pre-clinical models of Parkinson's disease.

Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of Allon, said the pre-clinical studies will be started immediately and, if successful, Allon would be in a position to begin a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the drug's effectiveness in Parkinson's patients as early as 2008. The Company has specifically designed their Phase I human clinical trials to provide safety coverage that can be applied across a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases.

"The Michael J. Fox Foundation has driven groundbreaking work in Parkinson's and we look forward to using MJFF funding to extend development of our drug platforms," said McCauley. "This award provides Allon with an opportunity to expand its work into another major market where there is a large unmet medical need."

"The Foundation is pleased to provide funding to help determine whether AL-108's neuroprotection is applicable to Parkinson's. The work is of particular interest given that, with a positive result, Allon could proceed directly into a Phase II efficacy trial," said Brian Fiske, PhD, associate director of research programs for MJFF.

Parkinson's disease is the direct result of the deterioration of cells, called dopaminergic neurons, which produce dopamine, a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals within the brain. Loss of dopamine causes critical nerve neurons to fire out of control, leaving patients unable to direct or control their movement in a normal manner. The studies funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation will allow Allon to test whether AL-108 can protect against and/or repair the deterioration of dopaminergic neurons in two animal models of Parkinson's disease.

An estimated 1.5 million people in North America suffer from Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease, and its incidence is expected to increase significantly over the next 25 years as the population ages. There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease, and although drugs have been developed that can help patients manage many of the symptoms, these drugs do not stop the disease from progressing. Current therapies also have significant long-term side effects and often stop working. According to Datamonitor, sales of Parkinson's disease drugs in the seven major pharmaceutical markets was approximately $1.8 billion in 2005.

Allon's drugs are unique in that in preclinical animal studies they prevent and treat the causes of neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer's disease and stroke. AL-108 has been shown in numerous preclinical animal studies to prevent deterioration of neurons through interaction with tubulin, the protein that forms microtubules. Microtubules are key parts of the communication pathways inside neurons. Assembly of microtubules is essential for the ongoing regeneration of the nervous system and for combating neurodegenerative diseases.

The Company has two products in Phase II human clinical trials. AL-108 is being evaluated in a Phase II trial as a treatment for Mild Cognitive Impairment-Alzheimer's disease and Allon recently announced a third Phase II study looking at cognitive impairment in schizophrenia in collaboration with TURNS (Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition and Schizophrenia) funded by the United States National Institute of Mental Health. The intravenous product, AL-208 is being evaluated in a Phase II trial to prevent and treat the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that commonly occurs after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

About Allon

Allon Therapeutics Inc. is a Canadian biotechnology company developing drugs that protect against neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and neuropathy. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "NPC" (Neuro Protection Company) and based in Vancouver. For additional information visit

About the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease within this decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The Foundation has funded over $90 million in research to date, either directly or through partnerships.

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