Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Potential new drug candidate found for Alzheimer's disease

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the Medical University of South Carolina and American Life Science Pharmaceuticals of San Diego have demonstrated that oral administration of a cysteine protease inhibitor, E64d, not only reduces the build-up of â-amyloid (Aâ) in the brains of animal models for Alzheimer's disease, but also results in a substantial improvement in memory deficit.

A paper detailing the findings has been published as an early online version and is scheduled for publication in the September 6 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

According to lead investigator Vivian Y. H. Hook, PhD, professor of the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and professor of neurosciences, pharmacology and medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine, this is major news for scientists studying Alzheimer's disease.

"The finding is especially exciting because E64d has previously been shown safe for use in humans, so we believe the compound has strong potential as a new therapy for Alzheimer's disease," said Hook.

Increased Aâ levels in the brain are associated with the development of memory loss and amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Aâ peptides are "cut" out from a larger protein called the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by an enzymatic "scissor" called â-secretase, and aggregate to form plaques in the brain regions responsible for memory.

E64d reduces Aâ by inhibiting the â-secretase "scissors" from "cutting" the APP chain into smaller toxic Aâ peptides. But in this study, the researchers found that the compound actually increases the activity of a protease called BACE1 which, to date, has been regarded as the primary â-secretase. Instead, E64d appears to lower brain Aâ by inhibiting the â-secretase activity of another protease, Cathepsin B.

"The study indicates Cathepsin B as a new target for therapeutic inhibition of Aâ production and subsequent improved memory function," said Hook. "This is an important finding because we show that â-secretase inhibition can occur with Cathepsin B inhibition and without BACE1 inhibition."

The researchers studied both old and young transgenic Alzheimer's disease mice, and found that memory loss improved in both. In young mice, feeding E64d prevented development of memory loss; in old mice with memory loss, it improved memory.

The study builds upon work published in March 2008 that first demonstrated that inhibitors of Cathepsin B resulted in improved memory and reduction of Aâ and amyloid plaque; but in that study, the drug was administered directly into the brains of AD mice. In the new study, oral administration of the drug was efficacious and could lead the way to clinical trials in humans.

Co-authors of the study were Gregory Hook, PhD, of American Life Science Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, and Mark Kindy of the Medical University of South Carolina, as well as the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, and Applied Neurotechnology, Inc., in Charleston, SD.

G. Hook is an employee and has equity in American Life Science Pharmaceuticals (ALSP); V. Hook is chair of ALSP's scientific advisory board and holds equity in the company, and Kindy holds equity in Applied Neurotechnology, relationships disclosed to their institutions.

The study was supported in part by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer's Drug Development Foundation.

Debra Kain | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>