14.03.2013 - Finnish Orion Pharma has presented Phase II results suggesting its first-in-class Alzheimer drug ORM-12741 improves memory.
A Phase IIa study on 100 patients with moderate Alzheimer's disease, which dosed the active arm with 60 milligrams or 200 milligrams of ORM-12741 plus standard cholinesterase treatment and memantine, suggested a slight improvement (+4%) in memory tests. In contrast patients receiving placebo twice daily instead of ORM-12741 over three months worsened by 33%.
Orion's candidate drug is the first to target the alpha-2C adrenergic receptor, which is expressed mainly in the CNS (striatum and hippocampus) and has a role as physiological fine tuner of synaptic neurotransmission.
"Currently, there are still only a handful of Alzheimer's drugs on the market and they have only moderate effects on the symptoms of the disease," said study author Dr. Juha Rouru of Orion Pharma. "Anytime you have a drug that targets a new pathway in the brain and shows effectiveness in clinical trials, it is exciting."
Orion has already finished pre-clinical development of another alpha-2c adrenergic receptor in Alzheimer, which was licenced from Polish Selvita, and is in talks with potential partners who want to advance ORM-12741.
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