Allon drug selected for clinical trial in the treatment of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia
- Category: Proteins and Peptides
- Published on Tuesday, 09 January 2007 02:00
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VANCOUVER, Canada | Jan 08, 2007 | Allon Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:NPC), The Neuro Protection CompanyTM, today announced that its drug AL-108 will be investigated in a Phase II human clinical trial as a potential treatment for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. The United States National Institute of Mental Health-funded project, Treatment Units for Research of Neurocognition in Schizophrenia (TURNS) selected Allon’s drug AL-108 and will conduct the Phase II clinical trial.
“The TURNS group is comprised of some of the best minds in psychiatric practice and schizophrenia research in the world today. For clinicians of this calibre to select and conduct a Phase II trial with a product from our pipeline is a significant validation of our technology, especially with the wide range of opportunities that TURNS reviews. This collaboration provides Allon a new market opportunity in a chronic indication that is an unmet medical need,” said Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of Allon.
Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, New York, and Director of the TURNS Scientific Operations Unit, said AL-108 has the potential to improve cognition in schizophrenia patients.
“Pre-clinical studies have shown that AL-108 is effective in improving learning and memory in animals and in Phase I human clinical trials it is safe and well-tolerated by healthy adults and patients,” said Dr. Lieberman. “These studies clearly indicate that AL-108 has the potential to improve cognition in schizophrenia patients and we are anxious to commence the Phase II trial that will begin this evaluation.”
There are estimated to be over 2 million people in North America who suffer cognitive impairment related to schizophrenia according to Datamonitor. TURNS was created by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, one of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, to identify drugs that improve cognition and that can be combined as co-treatments with anti-psychotic drugs that control the psychotic episodes that characterize schizophrenia. To date, first and second generation anti-psychotic drugs have shown little impact on cognition impairment suffered by schizophrenia patients.
“Our collaboration with TURNS expands our clinical development of AL-108 into another indication for which there are no effective drugs available to millions of patients around the world,” said McCauley. “Allon will provide AL-108 drug product to support the TURNS investigators at their seven clinical trial sites.”
The clinical trials sites include some of the most prestigious medical centres in the U.S. including: Harvard Medical School, The University of California at Los Angeles, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Washington University Medical Center, Nathan Kline Institute, Columbia University Medical Center and Duke University. The Phase II AL-108 trial will begin in 2007.
Allon’s compounds have a unique mechanism of action and have been shown to be effective in treating the underlying causes of more than nine brain diseases and conditions. Drugs on the market today treat only the symptoms — not the causes — of these diseases and injuries.
The Company has two products in human clinical trials. AL-108 is being evaluated in a Phase II trial as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and AL-208 is being evaluated in a Phase II trial as a prevention and treatment for the mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that commonly occurs following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Allon will hold a conference call to discuss its collaboration with TURNS today, January 8, 2007 at 3:00pm eastern time. The call will be hosted by Mr. Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of Allon, and will include comments from Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, New York, and Director of the TURNS Scientific Operations Unit, which will be followed by a question and answer session. The dial in number for the conference call is 1 (800) 733-7571 or 1 (416) 644-3423.
A replay of the conference call will also be available by telephone on January 8, 2007 through January 15, 2007. To access the replay, dial 1 (877) 289-8525 or 1 (416) 640-1917 and enter reservation number 21215247 followed by the number sign.
Allon Therapeutics Inc. is a Canadian biotechnology company developing drugs that protect against neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and neuropathy. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "NPC" (Neuro Protection Company) and based in Vancouver. For additional information visit www.allontherapeutics.com.
The Treatment Units for Research of Neurocognition in Schizophrenia (TURNS) program is a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) supported network that provides an infrastructure for clinical studies of pharmacological agents for enhancing neurocognition in patients with schizophrenia. For additional information visit www.turns.ucla.edu.
Forward Looking Statements
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SOURCE: Allon Therapeutics Inc