The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced today that it has awarded $1 million to GliaCure, a biotechnology company developing innovative therapies based on glial targets, to co-fund a Phase 1b clinical trial in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The study, which recently began screening volunteers, will determine the safety and tolerability of GliaCure’s primary clinical candidate, GC021109. It follows a 2014 Phase 1a trial which showed GC021109 to be safe and well tolerated in healthy volunteers.
“We are excited that the ADDF has selected our study for such a significant award,” said GliaCure President Philip Haydon, PhD. “In addition to helping us fund our latest clinical study, it provides external validation for our pioneering approach. We look forward to working with the ADDF as we strive to develop a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s patients.”
“GliaCure has developed an entirely novel approach for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease—one that is not under investigation anywhere else,” said ADDF Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, Howard Fillit, MD. “It has the potential to block multiple triggers of Alzheimer’s progression, which could result in significant improvements for patients.”
GliaCure’s primary compound, GC021109, is a small molecule that targets the P2Y6 receptor. The P2Y6 receptor stimulates microglial phagocytosis—a process that clears the amyloid deposits characteristic of Alzheimer’s from the brain—and reduces inflammatory cytokines. The importance of these processes in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease has become increasingly apparent due to a number of recently published studies from independent research groups.
This research was funded in part by a generous contribution from New York philanthropist Rosyln Goldstein.
About GliaCure, Inc.
GliaCure is a privately held company that is pioneering the development of novel therapeutics aimed at treating neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders of the brain. The company’s approaches are based on glial targets, a cell type in the brain that has previously been overlooked in drug discovery. The dual phagocytic and anti-inflammatory actions of the GliaCure’s lead clinical candidate, GC021109, have the potential to serve as a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and to affect other disorders, including psoriasis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. GliaCure has an exclusive license to the GC021109 compound and related technology from Tufts University. GliaCure also has a pipeline program for the development of therapeutics for astrocytic targets related to sleep disorders and depression. The company is based in Boston and is headed by Professor Philip G. Haydon, who also holds the position of Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professor and Chair of Neuroscience at Tufts University.