Spanish researchers reveal progress on Alzheimer

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Spanish researchers say they are developing a drug that could result in an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

1 August 2008

MADRID - A drug being developed in Spain could result in an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease in light of recent clinical advances in combating brain cell damage, researchers disclosed Thursday.

The compound, which is being developed by the government-backed Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) and biotech firm NeuroPharma, targets the same proteins in the brain as Rember, an experimental drug that has had remarkable success in clinical trials.

Results of tests with the two drugs were presented this week at The International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Chicago.

While Rember works by breaking up clumps of the tau protein that accumulate inside dying neurons, the Spanish drug, known as NP-12, targets an enzyme that contributes to the formation of tau clumps.

"If the research is successful, we will have a drug that stops the process of neuronal death associated with the disease, which is the cause of memory loss," Ana Martínez, the leader of the CSIC research team, said in a statement.

NP-12 has recently completed phase two clinical trials on animals, although Martínez notes that it will take at least five years for a drug based on the team's findings to become available commercially.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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