CLEVELAND Case Western Reserve's Technology Transfer Office has granted an exclusive license of a novel Alzheimer's Disease (AD) treatment strategy to spinoff company ReXceptor Inc., which plans to initiate early-stage human clinical trials of the medication within the next few months.
Gary Landreth, PhD, the Riuko and Archie G. Co Professor of Neurosciences, and his then-graduate student, Paige Cramer, PhD, co-founded ReXceptor after discovering that bexarotene (a medication trademarked as Targretin) reversed AD symptoms in mice within 72 hours of a single dose of treatment. Published last year in the journal Science, their results drew international interest, including stories in the Wall Street Journal and on CNN.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration originally approved bexarotene for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphomasa form of skin cancerin 1999. But Landreth, director of the medical school's Alzheimer's Research Laboratory, Cramer and their colleagues found that the medication significantly clears amyloid beta, a protein implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease when it accumulates in the brain.
The researchers demonstrated that a dose of bexarotene (a retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonist) clears amyloid beta build-up by 25 percent within six hours, an effect that lasted for up to three days. Cognitively impaired mice resumed normal behaviors (demonstrating a restored sense of smell and instinctive interest in nest-building) within 72 hours of receiving the drug.
More than 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease today, and that figure is expected to more than triple by the year 2050. Translating Case Western Reserve's groundbreaking research into a treatment available for patients is a complex process, but the researchers have great hope for the promise of their approach.
The first stage of testing will involve healthy volunteers, explained Michael Haag, the university's int
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Case Western Reserve University