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New Alzheimer’s and migraine treatments being developed

By Tim Sandle     Sep 6, 2015 in Health
Major pharmaceutical companies Amgen and Novartis are to collaborate on novel neuroscience treatments for Alzheimer's disease and migraine.
The U.S. pharmaceutical company Amgen is to work with Novartis, headquartered in Switzerland. The companies, Pharmafile reports, are to work on a commercial treatment for a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease; and, in a separate tranche of research, on a migraine treatment.
The premise to the treatment is the theory that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by amyloid build-up. Amyloids are types of insoluble fibrous protein aggregates. Beta-amyloid is chemically "sticky" and gradually builds up into plaques; it is thought by many scientists that excessive build-up is a major cause of Alzheimer’s.
The novel treatment is a BACE (beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme) inhibitor program, which both companies will work on together. BACE is an aspartic-acid protease important in the formation of myelin sheaths in peripheral nerve cells. BACE is designed to prevent the cleavage of beta-amyloid proteins.
Here Novartis' oral therapy CNP520 will be the primary molecule. Depending on how the work progresses, both companies have an inhibitor drug that can be used as a follow-on measure.
The novel molecule CNP520 has been designed to halt the production of amyloid proteins. In doing so, the molecule has the potential to slow and delay, and perhaps prevent, the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease.
The bulk of the research will be, at the early stage, be undertaken by Amgen. Later in the project both companies will pool research and development costs. The research is currently at a phase 1 clinical trial. Those with a possible genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease will be included in the study. People will be recruited by the Banner Alzheimer's Institute.
As part of the arrangement between the two companies, Novartis will gain co-development and commercialisation rights to Amgen’s migraine development drugs. Here an Amgen molecule called AMG 334 appears to inhibit the activity of a peptide called Calcitonin-Gene-Related-Peptide (CGRP). The CGRP molecule is assumed to play a part in triggering migraines.
More about Alzheimers, Migraine, amgen, Novartis, Brain
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