The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced that it has awarded follow-on funding of $298,500 to Madera Biosciences, Inc. to further develop its small molecule drugs designed to clear accumulated beta-amyloid from the brain and thus halt or reverse the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Madera has identified a series of proprietary, small molecule compounds that increase the expression of apolipoprotein E (APOE), which has been shown to mediate beta-amyloid clearance from the brain and prevent its accumulation into the plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. APOE is a lipid-binding protein that circulates in the blood and the brain. Increasing the release of apoE from brain cells has been shown to decrease beta-amyloid plaques and improve cognitive function in animal models.
Madera's novel, drug-like compounds facilitate the release of apoE, may aid the beta-amyloid clearance process and are hypothesized to improve symptoms, slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and potentially reverse the course of the disease. Madera’s lead compound has both excellent exposure suggesting once-a-day dosing and brain penetrance, enabling the drug to enter the brain where it increases apoE production. The ADDF's funding will allow Madera to advance these compounds for proof-of-concept testing in animal models of Alzheimer's disease.
"We are excited to continue our work with the ADDF to advance these promising orally-available compounds. The ADDF's support is critical to achieve our goal of providing Alzheimer's patients a therapy that changes the course of the disease," said Rick Jack, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer for Madera. "These funds will allow us to gain a better in vivo understanding of how our compounds affect the pathologies caused by beta-amyloid deposition."
"Madera's unique approach to enhance the secretion APOE holds great promise as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease," said Howard Fillit, MD, Executive Director and Chief Science Officer for the ADDF. "Since APOE is the leading known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (after aging), developing therapeutics based on our knowledge of APOE biology is a critical challenge in our field."
There are estimated to be more than 5 million patients in the United States and more than 35 million individuals worldwide suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The disease is believed to have an annual impact of $172 billion on health care in the United States and is projected to increase rapidly in the near future.