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Appealing the death sentence for brain cells
Date:5/29/2008

etermined a small portion of the protein (NAP) provides potent neuroprotection by protecting nerve cells against severe oxidative stress and the toxicity associated with diseases such as Alzheimer's. AL-108, the drug candidate under development now, is an intranasal formulation based on NAP.

What happens in the nerve cells of Alzheimer's brains can be likened to a derailed train, says Prof. Gozes. The nerve cell skeleton the microtubules are like the rails, and a protein called "tau" functions like the ties between the rails. In Alzheimer's, the ties fall off, the tracks fall apart and nerve cells die. AL-108 however, seems to prevent this process from accelerating.

AL-108, which could be ready in as early as 5 years, targets the microtubules and protects against amyloid plaques a characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. AL-108 also seems to be able to maintain brain microtubule functioning, preventing memory loss and the deterioration of other cognitive functions, such as learning abilities, in those whose mental functioning has already started to decline.

"It's important to stress that these are drug candidates in clinical development in North America for now, and will not be ready for several years," says Prof. Gozes, who co-founded Allon Therapeutics with Tel Aviv University's technology transfer arm Ramot.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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