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Banner Alzheimer's Institute and Sun Health Research Institute Enrolling Local Patients in Study of Investigational Therapy to Treat Alzheimer's Disease


6/9/2008 10:34:10 AM

PHOENIX and SUN CITY, Ariz., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Banner Alzheimer's Institute and Sun Health Research Institute today announced that they are actively enrolling patients in a new study of the investigational drug Dimebon(TM) for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Dimebon in patients with Alzheimer's disease taken in combination with Aricept(R) (donepezil HCI tablets), an FDA-approved Alzheimer's treatment.

According to new estimates from the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, debilitating and deadly neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells and affects areas of the brain involved in memory, cognition, judgment, language and behavior. Currently available therapies for Alzheimer's treat the symptoms with modest effect in most patients; new therapies are urgently needed.

Results from a one-year study of Dimebon in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease -- showing statistically significant improvements in memory, thinking, function and behavior -- were highlighted at the recent 2008 Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium (AAC) Annual Conference, a community service event. Banner Alzheimer's Institute and Sun Health Research Institute are both members of the Consortium.

"We are encouraged by the results Dimebon has shown in clinical studies to date and believe it is imperative to fully assess its promise in the fight against Alzheimer's disease," said Pierre N. Tariot, M.D., director, Memory Disorders Center, Banner Alzheimer's Institute. "We are pleased to be participating in this study."

"As the baby boomer population ages, the incidence of Alzheimer's will dramatically increase. We must find innovative ways to treat this devastating disease and slow its progression," said Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., founder and director of clinical research at Sun Health Research Institute's Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research. "We encourage local patients and caregivers to learn more about possible enrollment in this study, as clinical research is vitally important to understanding how we can better treat Alzheimer's disease."

About the Study

The multi-phase 1/2 study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics(1) of the investigational drug Dimebon in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Patients aged 50 and older with a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, taking Aricept for at least 60 days prior to enrollment, may be eligible to participate in the study. The trial is sponsored by Medivation, Inc.

About Dimebon

Dimebon is an investigational therapy in clinical development for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It targets Alzheimer's disease differently than currently available therapies. Initial studies of Dimebon have shown promise and further study is indicated.

About Banner Alzheimer's Institute

Banner Alzheimer's Institute is a treatment and research facility dedicated to helping patients with memory and thinking problems. It offers clinical care for patients; provides education, referral and support services for family and caregivers; and conducts leading-edge research in clinical trials, brain imaging and genetics studies. The Institute is devoted to finding effective Alzheimer's disease-slowing and prevention treatments in the shortest time possible. Banner Alzheimer's Institute is owned and operated by Phoenix-based Banner Health, a nonprofit organization.

About Sun Health Research Institute

For 21 years, Sun Health Research Institute has been a leader nationally and internationally in the effort to find answers to disorders of aging including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, arthritis and prostate cancer. The institute, together with its Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium partners, has been designated by the National Institutes of Health as one of just 31 Alzheimer's Disease Centers in the nation. The institute's Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research takes laboratory discoveries to clinical trials that foster hope for new treatments. Sun Health Research Institute is affiliated with the Sun Health non-profit community healthcare network.

(1) Pharmacokinetics is the process by which a drug is absorbed,

distributed, metabolized and eliminated by the body.

CONTACT: Paul Matthews of Banner Alzheimer's Institute, +1-602-239-6907,
Cell, +1-602-790-1688, paul.matthews@bannerhealth.com; or Brian Browne of
Sun Health Research, +1-623-815-7600, brian.browne@sunhealth.org

Web site: http://www.shri.org/



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