Anavex Life Sciences (AVXL) ANAVEX 2-73 Preclincal Data Shows Efficacy in Parkinson's Disease

September 22, 2016 7:01 AM EDT
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Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) today presented preclinical data demonstrating that ANAVEX 2-73, a sigma-1 receptor agonist, restores function in a classic animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Significant improvements were seen on all measures: behavioral, histopathological, and neuroinflammatory endpoints.

Veronica Francardo, PhD, and Angela Cenci, PhD, main authors of the study at Lund University, Sweden, commented: “We are in the fortunate situation that safety and tolerability of this compound have already been proven in human subjects, and that preliminary indications of a cognitive benefit have been obtained in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dosing of ANAVEX 2-73 daily for five weeks in a 6-hydroxydopamine lesions mouse model of Parkinson’s disease was followed by a battery of standardized tests that are linked to parkinsonian motor symptoms. The data indicates that ANAVEX 2-73 is well tolerated, induces significant motor recovery (p<0.05), induces neurohistological restoration (p<0.05) and reduces microglial activation (p<0.05), a potential biomarker of Parkinson’s disease. Behavioral patterns were completely normal, meaning no signs of either dystonia or stereotypic behaviors were detected in animals receiving the treatment. Further analyses are ongoing to confirm the neuroprotective effects of the compound and possibly elucidate some of the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the disease-modifying properties of ANAVEX 2-73. The study is funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex, stated, “This initial data is encouraging, and together with already available clinical safety and tolerability data on ANAVEX 2-73, might accelerate the exploration of ANAVEX 2-73 as a potential therapeutic intervention in Parkinson’s disease.”

The data is presented at the World Parkinson Congress 2016 in Portland, Oregon by Veronica Francardo, PhD, from Lund University, Sweden, titled “Investigating the potential neurorestorative effects of a clinical Sigma-1 receptor agonist in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease”. The poster presentation is available on the publications page of Anavex’s website.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremors, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Parkinson’s disease afflicts more than 10 million people worldwide, typically middle-aged and elderly people.

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