MARTINSRIED, Germany, October 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Sirenade Pharmaceuticals AG, an emerging leader in the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases and pain, has today announced the expansion of its Tau program, having demonstrated proof-of-concept in the first successful preclinical study for a tau-directed protein to treat Alzheimer's Disease.
Tau-related tangles and beta-amyloid peptide related plaques are the two known pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease. Until now, attempts to develop therapies directed at tau-related tangles have had only limited success. Sirenade's lead product has the potential to be the first tau-directed disease-modifying agent for Alzheimer's disease and as such represents a breakthrough in the industry. On the basis of this breakthrough, the Company is now expanding its R&D efforts for the development of therapeutics that target Tau-protein related pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Sirenade's lead tau-directed product is a kinase inhibitor that represses the formation of tau-protein related neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in Alzheimer's disease. In the study, this kinase inhibitor demonstrated the ability to delay the onset of Tau-related pathology in an animal model of NFT formation, and as such is the only drug candidate with proven efficacy in this model. Along with the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, the formation of NFTs is one of the hallmarks of the neurodegeneration seen in Alzheimer's disease. The results of this preclinical study were presented at the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders on 19th July. 
 Presented at The International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. July 17-22 2004, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. http://www.alz.org/
"Tau proteins offer a highly promising therapeutic avenue for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases," commented Dr. Mike Hutton, Consultant and Associate Professor at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville Florida, an acclaimed international leader in Tau-directed research and a Sirenade collaborator and scientific advisor. "Sirenade is pioneering the development of drugs in this area."
The Company's powerful kinase-focused library and high-throughput structure-activity-relationship technologies have now generated several other promising therapeutic candidates in the Tau-program targeting additional kinases. These hits have shown efficacy in cell-based models of tau-protein related pathologies. In the expansion of its Tau program, Sirenade is also progressing early stage research to further characterize the signaling pathways in Tau-related neuropathologies seen in Alzheimer's disease. From this research, they expect to identify new targets and new leads for future program development. Sirenade's patent portfolio currently includes proprietary chemistry and targets in the field of Tau-related pathologies.
About Sirenade Pharmaceuticals
Sirenade Pharmaceuticals AG is an emerging European-based private life science company focused on the development of drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and pain. Sirenade's portfolio ranges from discovery through clinical projects including a clinical therapy for motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease and cognitive deficits in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease that will shortly enter Phase II trials, and a breakthrough Tau-protein-directed program and lead preclinical compound with the potential to delay or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Sirenade's state of the art high-throughput kinase-directed technologies and chemical library provide a drug discovery engine that will drive lead generation for the Company's future drug pipeline.
To date Sirenade has raised EUR 13 million in venture capital investment and its current investors include 3i, Deutsche Venture Capital, ABN Amro, Renaissance and Novartis Ventures. Sirenade was formed through the merger of two German companies, Nadag and Sireen, in 2003 and employs 28 people in Martinsried, Germany.
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About Sirenade's lead product in the Tau programme
Sirenade's lead kinase inhibitor represses the formation of tau-protein related neurofibrillary tangles and has shown efficacy as a disease-modifying agent in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease as well as in in-vivo and ex-vivo models. Tau-related tangles and beta-amyloid peptide related plaques are the two known pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Over 30 R&D projects directed against beta-amyloid peptides are now in various stages of development in the industry but the potential for this approach to yield clinical benefit remains unproven. Prior to the discoveries of Sirenade, all attempts to develop therapies directed at tau-related tangles have been unsuccessful. Sirenade's lead product has the potential to be the first tau-directed disease-modifying agent for Alzheimer's disease and as such represents a breakthrough in the industry. This product and Sirenade's program for the discovery of further tau-protein directed therapies has positioned Sirenade as a pioneer in the tau-field. Sirenade has already discovered numerous additional proprietary leads that have shown efficacy in cell based models of tau-protein related pathologies.
For further information please visit the website at http://www.sirenade.biz/.