A New Drug for Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease

Alissa Sauer
By Alissa SauerAugust 22, 2016

It’s no secret that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease. However, a new drug seeks to attack the diseases early in the process, protecting the brain from their devastating effects.

Learn more about the new drug and why investors think it may work to stop both diseases.

A New Approach to Drug Treatments for Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease

A new drug promises a new approach to halt Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Both diseases are progressive brain diseases. Alzheimer’s attacks the part of the brain responsible for memory while Huntington’s ultimately leads to changes in the brain that can cause involuntary movement, a decline in reasoning skills and other mood changes. Both diseases currently have no cure or treatment.

A group of investors has joined together with a $44 million investment in a new drug for Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease from Annexon Biosciences Inc. of South San Francisco, hoping the drug called ANX-005 will stop these diseases in their tracks. The company was formed in 2013 by Stanford neurobiology professor Dr. Ben Barres and Rinat Neuroscience cofounder Arnon Rosenthal and has since raised roughly $78 million.

The drug focuses on a protein called C1q, which should initiate a normal immune response that disposes of dead cells and bacteria in the brain. However, when C1q accumulates where neurons meet it can break down synapses, blocking messages from being distributed throughout the brain. CEO of Annexon, Doug Love, sums up their approach, saying,

“We are stopping the assault on synapses and stopping them from going into disease.” He went on to say, “We think it’s a novel approach and (will generate) the type of data folks will want to see.”

Questions Regarding Drug Success Remain

There is no doubt that drugs to fight Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease have had a troubled past. With no cure or treatment on the market, Annexon is facing tough questions about the success of ANX-005. Love is hopeful that the drug will attack Alzheimer’s and Huntington earlier than previous drugs.

Though, Love admits it’s too early to say if the drug will work on humans, he is optimistic of the drug’s success.

“It’s a novel approach, well validated preclinically in animal studies in multiple disease. The time is right now to test it in humans.”

Are you optimistic about this new drug and the fight against Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Alissa Sauer

Alissa Sauer

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