Wednesday May 10, 8:03 am ET
TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ – NeuroMedix Inc. (“NeuroMedix”) (TSXV: NMX) today announced that its lead drug candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Minozac, is also effective in reducing brain inflammation in mice suffering traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) and in preventing the cognitive deficit that generally results from such injury.
A summary of these studies will be presented today at the PharmaDiscovery conference in Bethesda, MD, by Dr. D. Martin Watterson, Dr. Linda Van Eldik, and Dr. Mark Wainwright from the Center for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology at Northwestern University. Their work assessed the ability of Minozac to reduce brain inflammation and loss of cognitive function when administered to mice at three and nine hours following TBI. The rationale for treating with Minozac several hours after the onset of injury was to more closely mimic the clinical situation in which human patients with severe head injuries suffered in accidents such as automobile crashes arrive in hospital trauma centers. Minozac treatment at 5 mg/kg readily suppressed the injury-associated release of neurotoxic cytokines over a 12-hour period both in the hippocampus and the cortex of mice subjected to TBI. Moreover, Minozac dosing also prevented the loss of cognitive function over a 4-week recovery period, as measured in a Y-maze behavioral test that assesses memory retention and learning.
“These data make Minozac a promising candidate for the treatment of the long-term neurologic complications of TBI,” said Dr. Mark S. Wainwright, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Attending Physician, Neurology, Children’s Memorial Hospital.
“We are excited by these results and the potential they hold for expanding the clinical benefits of Minozac to patients suffering from TBI,” said Dr. Mark Pearson, CEO of NeuroMedix. “We believe that Minozac may also be useful in several other clinical indications and are working closely with Dr. Watterson and his academic colleagues to test these uses in suitable animal models of human disease.”
NeuroMedix is currently working diligently to produce clinical grade Minozac for initial safety studies in human patients that may then be expanded into clinical trials in patients with Alzheimer’s, TBI as well as other neuroinflammatory human diseases which currently lack effective therapies. Northwestern University has granted NeuroMedix an exclusive, world-wide license to Minozac.
TBI is an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability and/or psychosocial impairment. There are approximately 300,000 new cases of TBI each year in the United States alone. Current treatments for TBI include reduction of intracranial pressure and supportive care including maintenance of cerebral perfusion pressure and prevention of fever. There are no safe drugs currently known that both specifically suppress the inflammatory response in the brain and are effective in the treatment of brain injury. In studies over the past several years, a number of investigators have discovered that inflammation in the brain which is seen in a variety of disorders, including TBI, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, involves the activation of microglia and astrocytes (non-neuronal immune-derived cells in the brain). These activated cells release proinflammatory cytokines, proteins that can damage and kill neurons resulting in deficits in memory, speech, perception, behavior and motor function.
NeuroMedix is a biotechnology company focused on the development of therapeutic agents for the treatment of degenerative and inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Our therapeutic drug candidates are based on research from a team of leading experts in the field of neuroinflammation and have been demonstrated to reduce brain inflammation, to protect neuronal cells, and to prevent the loss of cognitive function in an Alzheimer’s disease animal model in mice. Based on these findings, NeuroMedix is pursuing the development of a lead compound for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. NeuroMedix’s shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “NMX”.
About the Center for Drug Discovery & Chemical Biology:
The Center for Drug Discovery & Chemical Biology is a University Center at Northwestern University. The overall goals of the Center are to catalyze and enhance research focused on drug discovery and chemical biology, and facilitate the translation of preclinical discoveries into clinical applications. The Center promotes interdisciplinary activities and resources that increase understanding of normal and abnormal processes that are relevant to therapeutic and diagnostic development. The Center also provides educational opportunities for students, staff and faculty in the area of drug discovery, integrative chemical biology, and related basic science interdisciplinary research.
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