FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alzheon, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new medicines for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological and psychiatric disorders, announced today that Stanley B. Prusiner, MD, has been appointed Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the company. Dr. Prusiner received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 and the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1994 for his pioneering work discovering prions, a new class of transmissible proteins that trigger protein misfolding in the brain to cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Dr. Prusiner currently serves as the Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Professor of Neurology and Biochemistry at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and he will lead Alzheon’s Scientific Advisory Board which is comprised of 18 leading scientists, clinicians and drug developers from throughout the world.
“Stan has been a visionary in the field of neurodegeneration, and we are thrilled to have him join our efforts and chair Alzheon’s Scientific Advisory Board. Stan’s current work on therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders with a focus on inhibiting prion replication will be instrumental as we pursue our precision medicine approach to Alzheimer’s, developing drugs that target distinct biological phenotypes of the disease,” said Martin Tolar, MD, PhD, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alzheon. “I have known Stan for more than 20 years and admired his groundbreaking scientific insights. I look forward to working with Stan as we advance our lead product, ALZ-801, into Phase 3 development in Alzheimer’s disease. We also welcome his leadership of Alzheon’s preeminent group of advisors, assembling their collective expertise to guide our mission of bringing innovative therapies to patients.”
Dr. Prusiner shares Alzheon’s commitment to bringing breakthrough treatments to patients with brain disorders. “Alzheon has emerged with a highly respected team of drug developers who have pioneered a precision medicine approach to developing drugs for Alzheimer’s, where the urgency for new treatments is greater than ever. I am impressed by the company’s strong scientific foundation as well as the clinical data supporting its focus on genetically-defined, high-risk patients in advancing a promising drug candidate, ALZ-801, that could become one of the first disease-modifying drugs for Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Prusiner commented. “I look forward to working with the distinguished Advisory Board to help Alzheon achieve its goals.”
Dr. Prusiner discovered ‘prions’ and the concept of transmissible protein misfolding as the cause of diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. His seminal discovery that amyloid also exhibits prion-like properties led to the association of prions with other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Dr. Prusiner received a BA in Chemistry and an MD from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his neurology residency training at UCSF following military service as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health. He joined the UCSF faculty in 1974.
In addition to being awarded the Nobel Prize and Lasker Award, Dr. Prusiner’s contributions to scientific research have received further international recognition. Dr. Prusiner is the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Potamkin Prize for Alzheimer’s Disease Research from the American Academy of Neurology (1991); the Richard Lounsbery Award for Extraordinary Scientific Research in Biology and Medicine from the National Academy of Sciences (1993); the Gairdner Foundation International Award (1993); the Wolf Prize in Medicine from the State of Israel (1996); and the United States Presidential National Medal of Science (2009). He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a foreign member of the Royal Society, London. Dr. Prusiner is the author of more than 500 scientific research and 300 review articles, and editor of 11 books on diseases caused by prions. He holds 50 issued or allowed United States patents.
Alzheon, Inc. is committed to developing innovative medicines by directly addressing the underlying pathology of devastating neurodegenerative disorders. Our lead Alzheimer’s clinical candidate, ALZ-801, is a Phase 3-ready, first-in-class, small molecule oral inhibitor of amyloid aggregation and neurotoxicity – hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. ALZ-801 is a novel prodrug that builds on the safety and efficacy profile of the active compound tramiprosate, which has been evaluated in clinical trials involving over 2,000 Alzheimer’s patients. Our clinical expertise and technology platform is focused on developing drug candidates using a precision medicine approach based on individual genetic and biological information to advance therapies with the greatest impact for patients.
For more information, please visit www.alzheon.com.