Small Alzheimer's Play Draws Attention After Others Failed

July 9, 2008 · Filed Under alzheimer's · Comments Off 

You have probably noticed the recent failure of some once-promising Alzheimer’s Disease treatments.  Mryiad Genetics (NASDAQ: MYGN) saw a huge disappointment over this recently.

A small Autralian biotech called Prana Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: PRAN) is out making the rounds showing how its Alzheimer’s treatment is showing promise.

Today it announced the publication of key research findings with its lead Alzheimer’s Disease drug, PBT2, in an article titled “Rapid restoration of cognition in Alzheimer’s transgenic mice with 8-hydroxyquinoline analogs is associated with decreased interstitial Abeta” in the current edition of the scientific journal Neuron.  Its key features are:

  • PBT2 profoundly and rapidly improved cognition in transgenic mice.
  • PBT2 prevented the formation of soluble Abeta oligomers, the form of Abeta believed to be the most toxic.
  • PBT2 substantially reduced the amount of all forms of Abeta in the transgenic  mouse brain, over a nine week period.
  • PBT2, within hours of oral administration, significantly lowered soluble (interstitial) Abeta in the brain, sampled using in vivo microdialysis.
  • Using a well established model for memory formation, PBT2 protected neurons in living brain tissue from the toxic effects of Abeta which impairs the signaling between neurons in Alzheimer’s disease.

The company also noted yesterday that its co-founding scientist recently addressed the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging.

This alone isn’t really a stock event in and of itself.  But it does still leave some underlying and residual value in Prana as long as its data doesn’t take a nose dive.  Its shares are very thin volume in the U.S> and today’s level is $3.63.

Its 52-week trading range is $2.06 to $6.73.  Its market cap is listed as $65.9 million, but we would caution that it raised $7 million via a private placement in may to fund its research programs.  At that time shares were north of $4.00.

It’s going to take quite a bit longer to know just how well these ongoing research programs develop in the quest to beat or even tame Alzheimer’s.  Any drug that makes it to market that can make any impact has a mega-blockbuster potential.

Jon Ogg
July 9, 2008

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