As reported in the current issue of "The Journal of Neuroscience", Dr. Davies and his colleagues studied mice that were genetically engineered to develop an Alzheimer's disease pathology to try to find out what causes the onset of AD and neuronal death. They determined that an inappropriate expression of cell cycle proteins may lead to catastrophic changes in cell structure and neuronal death. Under a long-term agreement with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Applied NeuroSolutions has exclusive licensing rights to commercialize Dr. Davies' Alzheimer's related discoveries.
"We believe we are making significant progress in determining what causes brain cell abnormalities and results in Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Davies, who is the Judith and Burton P. Resnick Professor of Alzheimer's Disease Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in The Bronx.
"This is important research that advances the search for the primary cause of AD," noted Dr. John DeBernardis, President and CEO of Applied NeuroSolutions. "As we look at what causes these neuronal cells to re-enter the cell cycle, the Company has embarked upon a promising path that could result in a lead compound to stop this process before it has a chance to develop into Alzheimer's disease."
In Alzheimer's disease, neurons undergo degeneration in the brains of affected patients, which eventually leads to neuronal death. Researchers had determined earlier that neurofibrillary tangles, one of the defining pathologies of the disease, are not the only cause of neural death. In this study, researchers set out to pinpoint the other reasons neurons were dying. In a study of mice genetically engineered to develop neurofibrillary tangles, they observed that neurons abnormally expressed cell cycle proteins, which are a prerequisite to cell division. This process does not occur in the "healthy" adult brain, but is prominent in brains of patients with AD.
"We know that neurofibrillary tangles do not appear to be the only cause of cell death in Alzheimer's disease," observed Dr. Davies. "We now believe we have identified another possible cause: abnormalities occurring in tau proteins that may activate a cascade of abnormal events. All of this takes place long before clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's are apparent."
Applied NeuroSolutions, Inc. is developing products to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's disease based on a novel hypothesis of AD pathology. In partnership with Dr. Peter Davies and a scientific team at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Applied NeuroSolutions has developed a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) test to detect Alzheimer's disease at a very early stage with 85%-95% accuracy in more than 3,000 patient samples. The company is also developing a blood serum-based screening test, as well as a new class of therapeutics to treat AD. Alzheimer's disease currently afflicts over 4 million Americans, and the market for AD therapy is expected to grow to 21 million patients by 2010 in the seven major pharmaceutical markets (USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K. and Japan) according to BioPortfolio, Ltd.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Applied NeuroSolutions wishes to caution the readers of this press release that actual results may differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements and may be adversely affected by, among other things, the risks associated with new product development and commercialization, clinical trials, intellectual property, regulatory approvals, potential competitive offerings, and access to capital. For further information, please visit the company's website at www.appliedneurosolutions.com, and review the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.