CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oligomerix, Inc., a privately held company pioneering the development of tau oligomer inhibitors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders, presented preclinical data today showing that its orally active, small molecule compound inhibits the earliest steps in the toxic tau aggregation cascade that leads to the formation of neurofibrillary tau tangles in AD. The company is now conducting IND-enabling studies of its compound, aimed at supporting the start of human clinical trials.
James Moe, Ph.D., MBA, President and CEO of Oligomerix, discussed the results of in vitro and in vivo proof-of-concept studies in an oral presentation at Neuroscience 2019, the 49th annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience being held in Chicago from October 19-23.
Results from both cellular assays and in vivo studies using a mouse tauopathy model of AD showed the compound inhibited tau self-association and reduced the formation of insoluble tau aggregates in a dose-dependent fashion. The compound was well tolerated with no apparent toxicity.
Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis, with no effective treatments or cures. According to the World Health Organization, more than 150 million people globally could suffer from dementia by 2050.
To date, the majority of clinically-tested therapeutic compounds have targeted amyloid beta deposition in the brain, the other major pathological hallmark of AD. However, these therapies have failed in clinical testing. As a result, interest has turned to tau as a potential therapeutic target.
Tau oligomers have been shown to transmit tau pathology from diseased neurons to healthy ones, and its continued aggregation is thought to play a causative role in the progression of AD and related dementias. Thus, blocking tau self-association into oligomers -- the earliest stage in the toxic tau aggregation cascade -- may be a useful strategy for modifying the clinical course of AD by inhibiting the spread of tau pathology and its associated impairment of cognition.
“Most tau-based approaches have focused on targeting the formation of tau fibrils or disrupting them, late events in tau-related AD pathology,” said Dr. Moe. “In contrast, we have demonstrated the ability of our compound to inhibit all tau-aggregation events, beginning with the earliest steps in this process.”
“This work supports the potential of our lead as a candidate for testing in the clinic, and has allowed us to advance to IND-enabling studies with a goal of initiating human clinical trials in 2021,” Dr. Moe commented.
About Oligomerix, Inc.
Oligomerix is an emerging biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel, small-molecule inhibitors of tau oligomer formation for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative diseases with tau pathology. Oligomerix’s drug discovery platform has identified a pipeline of novel, small molecule lead compounds that are designed to inhibit tau oligomer formation at the beginning of the aggregation process, and the company has achieved proof-of-concept in an animal model best representing tau aggregation in AD. IND-enabling studies are in progress for the company’s lead program targeting AD. 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 Institutes 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 http://www.oligomerix.com.