SOURCE: NeuroInvestment


September 01, 2010 12:16 ET

Alzheimer's Therapeutics Reviewed by NeuroInvestment

CARDIFF, CA--(Marketwire - September 1, 2010) -  NI Research has released the September issue of NeuroInvestment, which features a comprehensive review of Alzheimer's therapeutics, and a critical assessment of the pharma industry's premature rush to closure:

"It remains hard to give up the illusion that we know how Alzheimer's works. The relationship between amyloid and Alzheimer's, which has spurred the launch of thousands of grant applications and VC supplications, is at the very least, far more complicated than has been advertised. Never has the neuro area embraced a mechanism so early and fervently, with so little to show for it."

The September review looks at the expensive mistakes that have been made, and are in the process of being made, in the search for effective Alzheimer's treatments. The amyloid model has not been completely discredited, but all the human data thus far acquired points to what is at best, an extremely incomplete understanding of its role and the difficulty in safely targeting amyloid. Other potentially useful mechanistic approaches have often languished. The highly popular secretase inhibition strategies have failed, with semagacestat's recent Phase III results showing a deleterious impact upon patient functioning.

A recalibration of what constitutes a comprehensive AD pipeline is required, which opens the door for therapeutics utilizing other mechanisms, such as those addressing tau, metal-binding, and neurotrophin-enhancement.

The goal of AD treatment may also warrant a reset, as sustaining function farther into the lifespan may be as useful, and more safely viable, than is the elusive goal of disease-modification. Programs which sustain functional autonomy more effectively could emerge from a host of cognitive enhancement targets; including nicotinic and/or muscarinic receptors, 5HT-6, and/or H3 antagonism.

Over 180 therapeutics programs from 110 companies are included in this review. They range from the failed or failing leviathan programs, like JNJ/Pfizer/Elan's bapineuzumab, Lilly's semagacestat, and Pfizer/Medivation's Dimebon; to those with early clinical data, such as Allon Therapeutics (TSX: NPC), Targacept (NASDAQ: TRGT), Ceregene, EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, and Prana's PBT-2; to still under-the-radar programs from such companies as Axerion, Cortex Pharmaceuticals (NYSE Amex: COR), AgeneBio, NsGene, and Synosia Therapeutics.

The September issue also considers the nascent area of Alzheimer's biomarkers, and their lack of readiness for clinical 'prime time;' the dim prospects for redundant therapeutics from Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Somaxon, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals; and the controversial expansion of CNS drug development partnering by Cypress Biosciences (NASDAQ: CYPB). A review of the Danish neurotrophic specialist firm, NsGene, is also included.

NeuroInvestment is the independent, monthly review of the neurotherapeutics area. Its reputation has been built upon fourteen years of objective, insightful, and critical coverage of the neurotherapeutics field. A one-year corporate subscription is $2100, email or hardcopy. Add $250 for dual delivery, add $50 for airmail delivery outside North America. A three month email trial is US$700. The September issue is also being made available as a single purchase, for US$425.

NI Research is the leading publisher of independent research on the neurotherapeutics industry. NI Research has published NeuroInvestment since 1995, the Private CNS Company Review since 2003, and CNS Disorders/Therapeutics since 2007. NI Research also provides strategic consultation services. NI Research has developed an unmatched information base regarding both publicly and privately-held neuro-oriented companies.

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