May 1 Neurotrope Inc said on Monday its
experimental drug improved cognition levels in a small mid-stage
study in patients with Alzheimer's, a memory-robbing disease
that has long confounded scientists.
The drug, Bryostatin-1, induces the growth of synapses in
the brain and prevents cell death and is aimed at stopping the
formation of a toxic amyloid protein that turns into plaques in
the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
Existing treatments only soothe symptoms, and drug
developers have suffered crushing disappointments in their
efforts to find an effective way to reverse cognitive decline
that affects more than 5 million Americans.
Researchers are now increasingly focusing on attacking the
disease before symptoms have taken hold.
In the Neurotrope trial, two doses of Bryostatin-1 were
tested against a placebo, in addition to the standard treatment
in 147 patients with moderate-to-severe disease. A total of 113
patients completed the study.
Among those, 80 patients on the smaller 20 milligram dose of
the drug achieved a statistically significant improvement in
cognition in severe dementia patients, the company said on
However, in about 90 patients who received the drug but did
not complete the study, Bryostatin-1 did not bring about a
statistically significant improvement.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb