May 12 2010
EnVivo Pharmaceuticals today announced the initiation and dosing of patients in a Phase IIb study of its EVP-6124 compound, a selective alpha-7 nicotinic agonist in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. The multi-center, dose ranging, placebo controlled, six-month study taking place in the U.S. and Europe is designed to determine the safety and efficacy of EVP-6124 in producing procognitive effects and improving the clinical condition of Alzheimer's disease patients.
"Patients with Alzheimer's disease have a number of symptomatic therapies available to them. However, the effects of the available medications are modest. Even if significant progress is made in slowing disease progression, more effective therapies that sustainably improve the cognition of the patients are clearly needed," said Kees Been, EnVivo president and CEO. "There is growing consensus that alpha-7 nicotinic agonists can potentially improve the cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease patients as evidenced by the number of large pharmaceutical companies advancing similar drugs through development. The potential upside for patients is considerable and we look forward to completing our Alzheimer's disease study by the middle of next year."
The Phase IIb study will enroll mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease patients who will be randomized to three separate doses of EVP-6124 or placebo over six months. Efficacy will primarily be determined by the ADAS-Cog scale, a commonly used and accepted measure of cognition in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Secondary assessments will include other cognitive and clinical measures. EVP-6124 also is being tested in patients with schizophrenia in a separate Phase IIb study that started in late 2009.
Two previous studies with EVP-6124 in Alzheimer's disease patients demonstrated that it was well tolerated and produced significant effects on a variety of cognitive measures of brain function such as attention, memory and executive function (complex thinking tasks). EVP-6124 had procognitive effects in two separate clinical trials: one study conducted in Alzheimer's disease patients already treated with Acetyl Choline Esterase Inhibitors (AChEI) and one in Alzheimer's disease patients not on AChEI therapy (naive patients).
EVP-6124 is a selective agonist for the alpha-7 subtype of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and is being developed by EnVivo for potential cognitive enhancement in both schizophrenia and Alzheimer's patients. It has been shown to have excellent CNS penetration, oral bioavailability, pharmacokinetics and metabolic profile.