A drug promising hope for Alzheimer's patients - the precursor of which made global news for the University of Aberdeen seven years ago - may now be less than two years away from tackling the 'dementia tsunami' facing today's world.
TauRx Pharmaceuticals, the spin-out company taking forward the development of a novel pharmaceutical agent active in Alzheimer’s disease, have secured almost £88 million in a tranche of new investment to support current international clinical trials.
The additional investment has been provided through a combination of new investors and existing shareholders, and will support the ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials programme due to report findings next year.
Professor Claude Wischik, co-founder and Executive Chairman of TauRx said: "This new investment was raised at successively higher share prices during the course of 2015, reflecting the confidence investors have in our tau aggregation inhibition technology and in the promise of our lead product, LMTX®.
“This important milestone has been achieved as the result of a great deal of hard work by the TauRx board of directors and I want to thank them for their ongoing commitment to our company.”
LMTX® is currently being investigated as the first disease-modifying agent for the effective treatment of Alzheimer's disease by targeting the abnormal tangles of tau protein in brain cells, which is a characteristic of the condition. Since LMTX® shows a broad spectrum of activity as an inhibitor of abnormal aggregation of other proteins underlying a number of progressive neurodegenerative disorders, it is also being tested in behavioural variant Frontotemporal Dementia, in which both tau and TDP-43 proteins aggregate.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, welcomed news of the latest investment boost, adding “We’re immensely proud that the science behind this exciting spin out company has come from University of Aberdeen laboratories. It’s a tremendous achievement for the team that these worldwide clinical trials are now taking place. I am delighted to hear of this new investment which will, we hope, bring the drug now being tested closer to families all over the world who are affected by these devastating conditions.”
The early success of a prototype drug in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s in patients in the north-east of Scotland and other areas of the UK was the basis for a news story which made headlines around the world in summer 2008. The findings of this earlier Phase 2 trial, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease provided the basis and rationale for the much bigger, international Phase 3 trials now in progress.