Abbott Biotech Ventures Invests in NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals
Advancing Research on Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease
SAN DIEGO, Jan 04, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NGP), a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutics, has received an investment from Abbott Biotech Ventures. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Dr. William T. Comer, president and CEO of NGP said, "The funding will expedite the development of our lead candidate, NGP 555, for the prevention of AD, including achieving our immediate goal of initiating clinical trials."
Earlier, NGP announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) fast-track grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for preclinical work on NGP 555. The first phase award is in the amount of $288,000 with future awards to approach $1 million for each subsequent phase, which can be up to three rounds of additional funding for milestone-based achievements.
About NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NGP), a biopharmaceutical discovery and development company founded in 2009, is developing innovative drug therapies for Alzheimer's disease. Based in San Diego, Calif., the company's next objective is to obtain an Investigational New Drug approval for its clinical candidate, NGP 555. Future clinical trials will utilize specific amyloid biomarkers and/or brain scanning as an early diagnostic and to monitor drug efficacy in clinical trials. Combining early disease identification with a treatment capable of preventing AD-related pathology, such as NGP 555, would represent an important advance in our ability to prevent AD or hinder its progression to dementia. Clearly, the earlier AD is detected and treated, the better the likelihood of a good outcome.
NGP 555, a proprietary "first in class" molecule for the treatment/prevention of Alzheimer's disease, is a gamma-secretase modulator targeting the -secretase complex, a key enzyme in the amyloid pathway. The compound has excellent brain penetration and is devoid of side-effects seen with other potential amyloid therapies such as gamma-secretase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. Based on the pre-clinical studies in rodents, this compound is expected to prevent the formation of AB42 and the deposition of amyloid plaques in the human brain, thereby precluding neuronal cell death and the dementia associated with AD.
About Alzheimer's disease
The Alzheimer's Association ( www.alz.org ) describes Alzheimer's disease as a progressive and fatal brain disease, with as many as 5.3 million Americans and up to 30 million worldwide currently living with the disease. The National Institute of Health reports that unless the disease can be effectively treated or prevented, the number of people with AD will increase significantly. It is now known that the pathology burden of plaques and tangles in the brain may begin as much as 10 -- 20 years before dementia can be detected. This gradual progression from pathology to dementia currently represents a substantial unmet need in terms of the rapidly growing size of an aging population likely to be affected, and the enormous cost of treatment and hospitalization to society. Advances in assessing genetic risk, biomarker profile in spinal fluid, and brain scanning to predict who will develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) and when it may occur allow preventative AD-therapeutics to be tested efficiently in the clinic. This newfound ability to diagnose and monitor AD-progression makes the need for safe and effective drugs that can stop/prevent AD-plaque formation and dementia onset even more critical.
SOURCE: NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals, Inc.