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Natura Therapeutics and USF receive NIH grant to study green tea compound for Alzheimer's
Date:6/3/2009

Tampa, Florida (June 2, 2009) --Researchers affiliated with Natura Therapeutics, Inc., Tampa, Florida, and the University of South Florida (USF) have jointly received a one-year, $110,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to continue studying TeaMem, a compound made from green tea.

TeaMem holds promise for preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease (AD), a disease that the Alzheimer's Association says today affects as many as 5.2 million Americans. The most recent grant follows two other NIH grants to develop and evaluate TeaMem -- a $160,000 grant for 2007-2008 and a $140,000 grant for 2008-2009. The research conducted under these three grants was also supported through matching funds from the Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Grants Research Program.

According to Jun Tan, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the USF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, and one of the grant's principal investigators, the grant will be used to investigate the role of TeaMem in opposition to cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein protelysis (APP) into Abeta peptides and resultant cerebral amyloidosis, a process identified as a key feature in AD pathology.

"Our recent findings suggest that strategies that promote non-amyloidogenic/alpha-secretase APP processing may have significant potential for the treatment of AD," said Tan.

This SBIR grant, the most recent of three NIH grants, allows the continuing development of TeaMem and its evaluation in the test tube (in vitro). The latest grant provides for testing in vitro and in the body (in vivo) using mouse models to evaluate the effects of TeaMem.

Early tests will evaluate TeaMem in promoting non-amyloidogenic APP alpha-secretase proteolysis and then examine its therapeutic and preventive effects on AD pathology and cognitive impairment.

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Contact: Dr. Jun Tan
jtan@health.usf.edu
813-974-9326
University of South Florida Health
Source:Eurekalert

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