Most people experience some level of cognitive decline as they get older. It’s a cruel, albeit normal part of the ageing process. Losing agency, cognition and function to Alzheimer’s disease is far from normal, and affects 1 in 10 Australians over 65 years of age, and 1 in 3 over 85.
Whilst pharmacologics do exist for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s symptom management, there is still a significant unmet need for effective therapies.
Neurological disease focused biotech, Actinogen Medical (ASX: ACW) is working to develop therapies to combat dysregulated brain cortisol, thereby improving cognitive function and long term brain health.
Lead drug Xanamem is showing promise as a novel therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease as well as other neurological conditions such as Fragile X Syndrome and depression.
The drug works by blocking the production of cortisol in the brain via enzyme inhibition. This has been proven in clinical studies in multiple diseases and has been shown to significantly improve cognition in comparison to placebo drugs in healthy volunteers.
The Company has today announced topline results for part A of their Phase 1b Alzheimer’s clinical trial. 107 healthy, cognitively normal adults aged 50-80 were given Xanamem for 6 weeks and assessed. Researchers used the internationally recognised standard for cognitive assessment, the Cogstate computerised Cognitive Test Battery. Evaluations found that the drug met primary safety, pharmacodynamic and efficacy endpoints. Xanamem was found to “rapidly enhance attention and working memory.” These results are consistent with earlier studies on the drug.
Actinogen CEO and MD, Dr Steven Gourlay said: “We are excited to see the positive clinical data for these lower Xanamem dose levels. Xanamem has the potential to be a novel daily oral therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and other conditions that could be safely used alone or in combination with other therapies. Our future clinical trials will evaluate if Xanamem can make a significant improvement in the lives of patients and their families living with serious neurological and psychiatric conditions.”
The Company will take the initial results into consideration when designing Part B, their next Alzheimer’s focused trial that will see Xanamem administered to patients with early stage Alzheimer’s.
Strong advances and expansion in Actinogen’s clinical development pipeline are expected following a recent $13.3 million capital raise. The Company rounded out the half year ended 31st December 2021 with a cash balance of $22.2 million.
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