Whitesburg KY

Initial tests of Alzheimer’s drug are deemed a success


Clinical tests of an experimental drug proved successful in slowing the spread of an enzyme believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease, officials said.

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation announced that the trials showed the drug, called CTS-21166, was safe and well-tolerated by humans who were injected with it and that it successfully reduced levels of the enzyme believed to cause progressive memory loss.

“This is a significant milestone and an unquestionable success,” Dr. Jordan Tang said in a release. “We are stepping onto uncharted paths in Alzheimer’s treatment and seeing wonderful results so far. Hopefully, this drug will make a real difference and help stop this disease one day.”

Tang said the results of the Phase I study could not have been better because the drug proved safe and effective. Another study is planned in a few months using an oral form of the drug, and a Phase II study will begin later this year, Tang said.

Unlike other Alzheimer’s treatments, Tang said CTS-21166 is designed to turn off the mechanism that causes the disease to progress.

“It would be great if people could take one pill a day and push the onset of the disease back indefinitely,” Tang said. “This is another milestone toward that goal.”

More than 4.5 million Americans are believed to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, including 62,000 Oklahomans.

Tang, who helped OMRF researchers discover the beta secretase enzyme believed to cause Alzheimer’s, has been working with Dr. Arun Ghosh of Purdue University and CoMentis Inc., a pharmaceutical company with headquarters in San Francisco and Oklahoma City, to find a cure.

The team first developed an inhibitor to stop beta secretase in a laboratory setting, and then created a version safe for use in humans.

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