Allon Therapeutics Inc.

Allon Therapeutics Inc.

November 10, 2010 08:31 ET

Allon's Founding Scientist Illana Gozes Awarded Olson Prize From Peptides Journal

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2010) - Allon Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:NPC) announced today that Professor Illana Gozes, Allon's founding scientist and the discoverer of Allon's clinical-stage neuroprotective drug candidate davunetide, has been awarded the Olson Prize for her research insights into the behavioral effects of peptides by the journal PEPTIDES. Awarded annually for the most meritorious original research article on the behavioral effects of peptides published during the previous year, the Olson Prize honors the outstanding contributions of Drs. Gayle A. and Richard D. Olson to the field of peptide research.

Prof. Gozes' article, entitled "NAP (davunetide) enhances cognitive behavior in the STOP heterozygous mouse—A microtubule-deficient model of schizophrenia", was published in PEPTIDES in April 2010, and involved studies in mice that are bred to be deficient in a protein called stable tubule-only polypeptide (STOP) protein.

Associated with proper function of microtubular network, the STOP protein is important for the survival of the nerve cell. The deficient mice are a reliable model for schizophrenia and, in Prof. Gozes' study, the mice showed schizophrenia-like symptoms (hyperactivity) that were ameliorated by chronic treatment with the antipsychotic drug, clozapine.

Prof. Gozes' study showed that daily intranasal treatment with NAP (davunetide) significantly decreased hyperactivity and also protected the visual memory of the STOP-deficient mice. This result is consistent with previous research by Prof. Gozes in mouse models where brain pathology is characterized by the hyperphosphorylation of the microtubule-associated protein tau, often referred to as tauopathies.

Prof. Gozes' research has shown that davunetide increases the ratio of non-phosphorylated tau to phosphorylated tau, resulting in the maintenance of the essential microtubular network. These results, and Allon's clinical development program, suggest that davunetide is the most advanced tau-targeting drug candidate in clinical development.

Allon expects to have started the progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) study before the end of this quarter. PSP is a type of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) where there are extensive tauopathies. FTD is a group of rapidly progressive and fatal degenerative brain diseases, often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. The Company has previously demonstrated human efficacy in amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease, and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia.

Prof. Gozes, Ph.D, is a Professor of Clinical Biochemistry at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine of Tel Aviv University. She is the Lily and Avraham Gildor Chair for the Investigation of Growth Factors and the Director of the Adams Super Center for Brain Studies and the Edersheim Levie-Gitter Institute for Functional Brain Imaging. Prof Gozes is also Head of the Dr. Diana and Zelman Elton (Elbaum) Laboratory for Molecular Neuroendocrinology. Prof. Gozes serves or has served as a member (or chair) of several faculty/university/national and international committees and is currently the Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience and the President of the Israel Society for Neuroscience.

Collaborative research led by Prof. Gozes has been supported by Allon, Tel Aviv University, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University.

Co-authors of the award-winning article are students Avia Merenlender-Wagner, Regina Pikman, and research staff Dr. Eliezer Giladi, at Prof. Gozes laboratory at Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Annie Andrieux, of the Institut des Neurosciences de Grenoble, Université Joseph Fourier and Institut de Recherches en Technologies et Sciences pour le Vivant Direction des Sciences du Vivant, Grenoble, France.

About Allon's neuroprotective platforms

Allon's two neuroprotective technology platforms are based on two naturally occurring proteins produced by the brain in response to a range of insults. The platforms are activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) and activity-dependent neurotrophic factor (ADNF).

Because the two platforms are based on different proteins, the drugs from each are different molecules with different therapeutic mechanisms and distinct commercial opportunities. Clinical-stage drugs based on davunetide are derived from ADNP, while preclinical stage drug AL-309 is derived from ADNF. Davunetide is focused on Alzheimer's disease, cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). AL-309 is being developed for the treatment of peripheral neuropathies and is administered orally or subcutaneously.

About Allon

Allon Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing treatments for major neurodegenerative conditions. Allon's drug davunetide has demonstrated human efficacy in amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease, and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. Allon has Phase 2 human efficacy programs pursuing large underserved markets, such as Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, and in orphan markets, such as frontotemporal dementias. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "NPC" (Neuro Protection Company™) and based in Vancouver. For additional information please visit the Company's website:

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