Alzheimer’s treatment could be set for a significant boost following the publication of what NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals (ASX: NSB) calls a “breakthrough study” into its lead drug candidate EmtinB using rat tissue.
Contract researcher and neuroscience specialist MD Biosciences carried out the pre-clinical study, with NeuroScientific hoping to move onto human trials later this year.
Results into EmtinB were published earlier today with NeuroScientific managing director and chief executive officer Matthew Liddelow confident EmtinB could pave the way for a “disease-modifying therapy for Alzheimer’s” given its ability to stimulate the reformation of the neuronal network and restoring function of injured nerve cells.
Nerve cells were able to effectively communicate again which is considered a significant achievement in affecting synapse loss, a major correlate of cognitive impairment.
Combating neurodegenerative disease
One of the most intriguing results was that EmtinB was able to significantly stimulate the regeneration of nerve cells by more than 300% in comparison to controls incubated with sterile water.
The study demonstrated strong potential physiological response where treatment with EmtinB significantly increased the number of synaptic connections per cell – a measure of active communication between different nerve cells.
According to NeuroScientific, these results suggest EmtinB has the potential to become a fully-fledged drug that treats Alzheimer’s disease.
In one sample, EmtinB achieved the distinction of forming the longest axon ever measured in the so-called “spinal nerve injury model” – a specifically designed assay involving primary nerve cells isolated from adult rat spinal cord tissue.
In further good news, EmtinB treatment of injured nerve cells was proven to be more effective than FDA-approved multiple sclerosis drug Copaxon across all concentrations, with the highest dose producing a 200% improvement.
Onwards and upwards
The study also indicated that EmtinB could have the ability to be a powerful avenue to help patients by developing drugs for several other neurodegenerative diseases including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, spinal injury and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Currently, there are no approved drugs that can slow down or halt neurodegeneration which makes a successful drug all the more commercially valuable, if a company can manage to successfully develop one.
According to NeuroScientific, the study marks the first time a dendrimer type molecule targeting the crucial cellular survival pathway has been effective in the neurodegenerative model with results “far exceeding expectations for efficacy in every test in the model”.
“Our company goal is to create new products that reach their target in the brain and act as a protector against nerve cells injury,” said Mr Brian Leedman, chairman of Neuroscientific.
“We believe that EmtinB has potential to bridge this gap and bring this breakthrough medicine to clinics and with our strong cash position, look forward to commencing our human studies,” said Mr Leedman.
Having published its results, NeuroScientific plans to begin the first human studies later this quarter.
Meanwhile, shareholders were greeted with a stellar 168% jump in the price of NeuroScientific’s shares, which reached $0.39 mid-morning.