Nearly 50 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and it is expected that this figure will almost double every 20 years as a result of an ageing population. Current treatments tackle the symptoms, temporarily improving memory, but they are unable to stop the disease from progressing. There is an urgent need for treatments to combat AD to prevent, or at least delay, the onset of cognitive decline.
- To work on a treatment for AD based in a new mechanism of action, which could help tackle brain inflammation, one of the early signs of the disease.
Problem to Solve
AD is a multifactorial disorder involving several pathological mechanisms. There are currently several pharmacological research projects focussing on slowing or reversing the progress of AD. However, they mostly target the physiology of just two proteins, beta-amyloid and tau, and their ability to stop the disease from progressing has yet to be proved.
Since the global costs of AD and dementia are estimated to be around $600 billion, including the cost for patients as well as caregivers, it is critical to explore new targets with the potential to effectively treat these diseases, either as a standalone treatment or in combination with current drugs.
Small-molecules that target a key mechanism in the inflammation process, reducing neuro-inflammation and neuro-degeneration biomarkers and leading to a positive outcome in AD. The team has already found preliminary evidence of improvements to both cognitive decay and the neuropathological markers present in murine models for AD.
Level of InnovationA first-generation of small-molecules with a new mechanism of action for AD and drug-like properties has already been developed. However, they do not show good Brain Blood Barrier permeability, which is critical to reach the focus of the disease, and serious efforts will be put to overcome this issue.