Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Alzheimer's Drug Ends First Stage of Clinical Testing

Article excerpt

Clinical tests at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation of an experimental drug proved successful in slowing the spread of an enzyme believed to cause Alzheimer's disease.

OMRF announced that the trials showed the drug, called CTS- 21166, was safe and well-tolerated by humans who were injected with it and that it successfully reduced levels of the enzyme believed to cause progressive memory loss.

CoMentis, a pharmaceutical company with offices in California and Oklahoma City, is developing CTS-21166, a beta-secretase inhibitor, discovered by Jordan Tang of OMRF and Arun Ghosh of Purdue University. Unlike the existing Alzheimer's drugs that treat only the symptoms, CTS-21166 inhibits, or turns off, the mechanism believed to lead to disease progression.

The Phase I clinical trial results showed CTS-21166 to be safe and well-tolerated in humans at various dose levels. After a single dose, CTS-21166 reduced the levels of plasma beta amyloid, a potential cause of progression of the disease, by as much as 60 percent.

"CTS-21166 represents an entirely new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease by inhibiting beta-secretase, an enzyme critical in the production of potentially toxic amyloid beta," said Henry Hsu, CoMentis chief medical officer. …