Researchers from HammondCare’s NSW clinical trials unit are participating in the trial of a new drug that targets memory decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The drug, ATH-1017, developed by US therapeutics company Athira Pharma, is designed to repair brain cells and rebuild brain networks, potentially offering a regenerative pathway to improved brain health and function.
The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2/3 clinical trial will take place at 12 sites in the US and Australia to test the safety and efficacy of the drug on some 300 participants.
Athira released a statement in October announcing that dosing has begun.
The HammondCare team is currently recruiting participants for six month trials in Sydney and Melbourne.
The trials are available for people who have been newly diagnosed, as well as those who are already in the moderate stages of Alzheimer’s, HammondCare’s NSW Clinical Trials Unit Principal Investigator Dr Mark Hohenberg says.
“Our team at Hammondcare Greenwich Hospital would be delighted to hear from prospective patients living with Alzheimer’s to see if they are eligible for the trial,” he said.
“Through this Athira trial at Hammondcare, there is hope for those whose disease may have progressed over time.”
A new approach to treating dementia
Most drugs currently being investigated to treat Alzheimer’s target beta-amyloid plaques, which are thought to be responsible for dementia.
Athira’s ATH-1017 works differently by using a molecule that binds to receptors in the brain and mimics a protein known as HGF, that is active in healthy brains but depleted in people with dementia.
That way it targets the root causes of memory decline, researchers say.
Initial trials found the drug was generally well tolerated and that working memory and some other brain functions improved compared to patients getting a placebo, Athira says.
“Data from our previous study show functional biomarker effects indicating potentially positive effects of ATH-1017 on brain function in Alzheimer’s patients,” Athira’s chief medical officer Hans Moebius said in a statement.
“Our goal is to confirm these compelling effects in a larger ATH-1017 study as there is a significant unmet need for new Alzheimer’s treatments.”
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