July 4, 2013
KINGSTON, ON/WELLESLEY, MA -- Data obtained in a recent animal study sponsored by PARTEQ spinoff company sGC Pharma Inc. have confirmed the potential of a new class of drugs targeting Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive impairments, with special promise for patients carrying the APOE4 gene.
APOE4 carriers account for more than half of Alzheimer’s patients, and the mutant form of the gene accelerates progression of the disease and the onset of cognitive impairment by seven to nine years per gene copy.
sGC-1061, a member of a class of compounds known as ‘nomethiazoles,’ was given to mice for 10 weeks. Results showed a significant reduction in the levels of soluble, i.e., neurotoxic, amyloid-beta (amino acids 1-42) in the treated animals.
The genetically modified mice used in the study carry a copy of the human APOE4 gene, making them potentially useful for testing the efficacy of Alzheimer’s drug candidates for the subset of people that carry this gene.
The compounds were discovered at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario by Dr. Gregory Thatcher, now Hans W. Vahlteich Chair of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois, Chicago. The mouse studies were completed in the UIC laboratories of Dr. Thatcher and Dr. Mary Jo Ladu. Dr. Thatcher’s laboratory continues to work on the development of nomethiazoles.
“These findings are a significant advancement in our understanding of how this complex disease could be treated,” says Anne Vivian-Scott, President and CEO (Acting) of PARTEQ Innovations, which protected and licensed the compounds to sGC Pharma.
Previous published studies on sGC-1061 in two other animal models of Alzheimer’s disease also demonstrated the compound’s potential to improve synaptic function in the central nervous system.
“Pharmacology and toxicology data support the potential of this drug candidate, and a prototype sustained-release formulation is under development,” says Robert Bender, Chairman of sGC Pharma. “sGC-1061 is poised to enter Phase 2 evaluations in target populations.”
Dr. Doug Cowart of sGC Pharma has indicated that the formulation of sGC-1061 relies on recently patented technology directed to maintaining plasma concentrations of the drug in the therapeutic range with once or twice daily dosage.
Robert Bender, Chairman
sGC Pharma Inc.
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About sGC Pharma Inc.:
sGC Pharma is a biotechnology company dedicated to developing a drug to improve cognition and memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Founded in 2007 by PARTEQ Innovations, the company is headquartered in Wellesley, MA.