NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oligomerix, Inc., a privately held company pioneering the development of tau oligomer inhibitors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders, announced today the company has successfully completed Phase I of the work required under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I/Phase II Fast-Track grant announced in October of 2018. The company recently received $1 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute on Aging (NIA) to fund Phase 2 activities. The total grant for this program, entitled “Scale-up and Synthesis of a Tau Oligomer Inhibitor to initiate IND enabling studies for AD and ADRD,” is in the amount of $2.49 million.
There is a critical unmet need for disease-modifying drugs for AD and related dementias, and the role tau plays in the disease has become an exciting new area of research. Oligomerix, its collaborators, and other research labs have shown that tau oligomers are directly neurotoxic (Tian et al., 2013), inhibit signal transmission between neurons, and impair formation of memory in mice (Fá et al., 2016). Unlike other companies targeting tau, Oligomerix’s core technology is focused on inhibiting the formation of pathology-inducing tau oligomers, and resulting tangle formation, at the beginning of the tau aggregation cascade. Oligomerix’s lead compound is a preclinically-advanced tau oligomer inhibitor that has demonstrated initial efficacy and safety in preclinical studies and is being developed with an accompanying novel biomarker.
“We are grateful to NIH/NIA for their ongoing support and recognition of the promise of targeting tau oligomers to treat AD,” said James Moe, Ph.D., MBA, President and CEO of Oligomerix. “Tau oligomers have been shown to have an important causal role in the progression of AD, including neuronal loss and memory impairment, and by blocking the initial step in tau aggregation, it is our hope we will be able to prevent the formation of all forms of toxic tau aggregates. We have identified a pipeline of novel, central nervous system (CNS), small molecule lead compounds for neurodegenerative diseases with tau pathology and have achieved in vivo proof-of-concept in an animal model best representing tau aggregation in AD.
With this NIH award we have initiated IND-enabling studies. Our small molecule approach has competitive advantages over antibody-based approaches which only target specific forms of tau aggregates, have poor access to the brain, and are very costly to manufacture and to administer.”
The long-term goal of this program is to develop a disease-modifying, small molecule drug for AD and AD related dementias (ADRD) with tau pathology. Oligomerix is working in close collaboration with Alzheimer’s expert Peter Davies, Ph.D., Director, Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. The award for the Phase II portion of the grant will fund the GLP safety studies to support the completion of IND-enabling studies. During the past nine years, Oligomerix has received over $10 million in grants to support the discovery and development of small-molecule tau oligomer inhibitors and biomarkers for AD and related neurodegenerative disorders.
The content of this news release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
About Oligomerix, Inc.
Oligomerix is an early-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel, small-molecule tau oligomer inhibitors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative diseases with tau pathology. Oligomerix’ drug discovery platform has identified a pipeline of novel, central nervous system (CNS), small molecule lead compounds for neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. The leads were designed to inhibit tau oligomer formation at the beginning of the aggregation process and in vivo proof-of-concept has been achieved in an animal model best representing tau aggregation in AD. The company’s lead program targeting AD has initiated IND-enabling studies. The NYC based company is located at the Ullmann Research Center for Health Sciences within the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has received considerable support from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institute of Health (NIH). Oligomerix is seeking strategic partners to support the acceleration and advancement of these important programs. For more information about Oligomerix, please visit www.oligomerix.com.