Public Release: 

Scientists to hear latest Alzheimer's drug discovery, preclinical & clinical study results

ADDF's 16th International Conference on Alzheimer's Drug Discovery is only scientific conference dedicated solely to presenting new science on Alzheimer's drugs

Tartaglia Communications

More than 100 of the world's leading Alzheimer's drug researchers will gather today and tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City to hear the latest developments in the discovery and testing of promising drugs, detection technologies, biomarkers and newly discovered therapeutic targets for preventing, treating and curing Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Organized and hosted by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), the conference is the only scientific meeting dedicated solely to bringing leading academic and industry scientists together to present new research on Alzheimer's drug discovery and establish partnerships to further their studies. Young investigators will also present their drug discovery research during poster sessions each day. Presenters come from academia and the biotechnology industry.

"Without novel treatments, the incidence and mortality rates for Alzheimer's and other dementias will continue to increase exponentially as the Baby Boom generation ages," said Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the ADDF. "Effective therapies are urgently needed. I am hopeful, however, because the researchers who will present at our conference and others we have funded are willing to try new approaches and pursue novel drug targets."

Journalists are welcome to attend all or part of the two-day conference by registering as "media" at: http://worldeventsforum.com/addf/addrugdiscovery/registration/

Among the research presentations of potential interest to journalists are:

Title: "Lead Discovery of Novel Small Molecule Compounds Effective in Modulation of Cellular Energetics"

Lead Author: Eugenia Trushina, PhD, Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)

Presentation Schedule: Monday, October 5, 4:40 - 5:00 p.m.

The dysfunction of mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of cells, is an underlying and early event in Alzheimer's disease progression. Dr. Trushina will report on her team's development of effective small molecules that have been shown to restore mitochondria function, block the accumulation of beta-amyloid peptides and restore memory deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer's. Dr. Trushina has shown that these compounds can prevent memory loss in mice treated prior to and after the onset of Alzheimer's. She and her team are now finalizing development and optimization of their lead compound in anticipation of preclinical testing. If proven successful, these studies may result in one or more drugs that are effective in multiple neurodegenerative diseases.

Title: "A Phase I Clinical Trial to Evaluate Safety and Anti-Inflammatory Actions of GC021109 in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease"

Lead Author: Philip Haydon, PhD, GliaCure, Inc. and Tufts University (Boston, MA)

Presentation Schedule: Tuesday, October 6, 10:15-10:35 a.m.

Alzheimer's disease has multiple causes including brain inflammation, the accumulation of beta-amyloid protein into "plaques," and changes in structural proteins. Dr. Haydon is screening volunteers for an upcoming Phase Ib multiple ascending dose clinical trial of a drug to reduce both neuroinflammation and the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain. His previously untried approach to Alzheimer's treatment uses the novel drug GC021109 to target the P2Y6 receptor. This receptor is expressed by microglial cells, which act as the main immune defense in the central nervous system. The P2Y6 receptor triggers a process that clears beta-amyloid from the brain and reduces inflammatory cytokines that damage brain cells. Dr. Haydon's study will test CG021109 in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease to determine the drug's safety and tolerability. He will also take samples from these patients and examine certain biomarkers to determine whether changes related to Alzheimer's progression have occurred, and to plan for a Phase II trial to evaluate CG021109's efficacy.

Title: "Benfotiamine in Alzheimer's Disease: A Pilot Study"

Lead Author: Gary Gibson, PhD, Winifred Masterson Burke Medical Research Institute (White Plains, NY) and Weill Cornell Medical College (New York, NY)

Presentation Schedule: Tuesday, October 6, 11:05-11:25 a.m.

Dr. Gibson is currently recruiting patients for a Phase II clinical trial of benfotiamine, a potent derivative of thiamine (Vitamin B1). This study will determine if increasing thiamine availability in the brain (via benfotiamine administration) can minimize the decline in glucose utilization and slow cognitive decline related to amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (AMCI) or mild Alzheimer's disease dementia. Reduced glucose metabolism is an unvarying feature of Alzheimer's disease and is an indicator of disease progression. Thiamine deficiency has been shown to reduce glucose metabolism and cause severe memory deficits in animals and humans. In animals, thiamine deficiency also increases beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, however, thiamine administration has been shown to reduce plaques and tangles and slow memory loss. Earlier human studies suggested that B vitamins (including thiamine) can slow the rate of brain atrophy. If Dr. Gibson's Phase II study is successful, his results will inform the design of a larger Phase III trial.

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To view the entire conference program, visit: http://worldeventsforum.com/addf/addrugdiscovery/

To receive conference abstracts or arrange interviews with presenters, please contact Dennis Tartaglia, 732-221-3433) or Krishna Knabe, 212-901-7991).

About the ADDF - Founded in 1998 by co-chairmen Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease. ADDF is the only public charity solely dedicated to funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer's, employing a venture philanthropy model, funding breakthrough research in academia and the biotech industry. Through the support of its donors, the ADDF has awarded more than $75 million to fund over 450 Alzheimer's drug discovery programs and clinical trials in 18 countries. To learn more about the ADDF, visit http://www.alzdiscovery.org.

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