Anavex Advances Drug Candidate For Treatment Of Alzheimer's Disease

Armen Hareyan's picture

Anavex Life Sciences announces promising developments with ANAVEX 1-41, the company's lead drug candidate for Alzheimer's disease. In recent pre-clinical animal studies, ANAVEX 1-41 prevented oxidative stress, which damages and destroys cells and is believed to be a primary cause of Alzheimer's disease. ANAVEX 1-41 also prevented the expression of caspase-3, an enzyme that plays a key role in programmed cell death and in the loss of cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that regulates learning, emotion and memory.

"The fact that we have evidence of neuroprotective action, which is essentially protection to any part of the body's nervous system, through the prevention of oxidative stress is a major milestone in the development of ANAVEX 1-41," said Dr. Vamvakides, Chief Scientific Officer of ANAVEX. "With this novel mechanism of action we anticipate that ANAVEX 1-41 mayslow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and considerably improve the quality of life of those impacted by the disease as well as their caregivers."

The pre-clinical studies tested ANAVEX 1-41's ability to protect neurons, the nerve cells that make up the central nervous system, from degeneration or death. Testing was conducted in a non-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. The brains of mice were injected with amyloid beta peptide, the key ingredient in Alzheimer's brain plaques, which is known to induce histological and biochemical changes, oxidative stress and learning deficits within seven days.


When ANAVEX 1-41 was administered to mice during pre-clinical testing, the compound dose prevented amyloid-beta-induced learning in the spontaneous alternation and passive avoidance performances. In addition, it blocked the induction of amyloid-beta-induced lipid peroxidation, the biochemical process that mediates damage to nerve cell membranes. ANAVEX 1-41 also reduced the loss of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus and blocked the amyloid-beta-induced expression of caspase-3.

ANAVEX 1-41 has been previously shown to reverse learning deficits in mice that were induced by the drugs scopolamine and dizocilpine, or through the administration of amyloid beta peptide. In addition to these findings, the ANAVEX scientific team recently reported the neuroprotective potential of sigma-1 receptor drugs due to their sigma-1 receptor modulatory role on calcium mobilization and signal transduction pathways.

"We are excited by the data that was presented at the Neuroscience 2007 conference regarding the neuroprotective and anti-amnesic properties of ANAVEX 1-41 for Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Kontzalis, Chief Executive Officer for ANAVEX. "We are committed to further exploring the disease-modifying properties of ANAVEX 1-41 and to meeting our ultimate goal of developing novel therapies to prevent the onset of or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease."

ANAVEX 1-41 pre-clinical studies will be completed in the coming weeks. Once pre-clinical testing is complete, ANAVEX will commence with IND filing so that human trials of ANAVEX 1-41 can begin.


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