HALF MOON BAY, Calif., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Saegis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines that protect and enhance the function of the human mind, announced today that patient enrollment has begun in a Phase II trial of its lead product candidate, SGS742 for Alzheimer's disease. SGS742 is a selective, orally active GABA-B receptor agonist. The multicenter, double blind, Phase II trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of SGS742 in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Patients will be enrolled in various sites in the United States.
"There is a clear need for drugs with improved therapeutic profiles to treat this devastating disease," said Rodney Pearlman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Saegis. "SGS742 has already demonstrated an ability to improve learning and memory in preclinical and clinical studies. We are very excited to advance this product further into clinical development for Alzheimer's disease."
"SGS742 has already demonstrated encouraging results to show improvement in attention and memory in earlier clinical trials," stated Annette Madrid, Vice President, Clinical Development. "We believe SGS742 may provide a new standard of care for Alzheimer's patients."
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia affecting over 4.5 million people in the U.S. in 2002 alone. Therapeutics to treat Alzheimer's disease are now the fastest growing segment of the CNS market with 2002 worldwide sales of $1.5 billion.
Saegis has completed a Phase II clinical trial of SGS742 in Mild Cognitive Impairment and demonstrated that patients treated with SGS742 exhibited improvements in multiple cognition domains, including psychomotor speed, attention and memory. SGS742 was found to be safe and very well tolerated. Results from this study were presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in San Francisco on April 27th, 2004.
A significant amount of preclinical and clinical evidence has been collected demonstrating that SGS742 has the ability to enhance learning in mice, rats, primates and most recently in humans. SGS742 also appears to have an improved safety and side-effect profile over currently marketed drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease. Saegis has an exclusive license to SGS742 from Novartis Pharma AG.
About Saegis Pharmaceuticals
Founded in 1999, Saegis Pharmaceuticals is a pioneer in the development of medicines that protect and enhance the function of the human mind. Through licensing activity, development partnerships and internal discovery programs, Saegis Pharmaceuticals is building a portfolio of compounds with activity against a range of disorders of the brain and central nervous system, including Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment, and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. Currently the Company has three orally available small molecule compounds in clinical development, two of which have already demonstrated efficacy and safety in humans. These development activities are also supported by investments in Saegis Pharmaceuticals by Versant Ventures, Technology Partners, Sofinnova Ventures (U.S.), Sofinnova Partners (Paris), Polaris Venture Partners, NeuroVentures, the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Novartis AG. For more information, visit http://www.saegispharma.com/.
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