NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced that it has awarded a grant of $294,000 to Madera Biosciences, Inc. to develop small molecule drugs designed to clear accumulated beta-amyloid from the brain and thus halt or reverse the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Madera has identified a series of proprietary compounds that increase the expression of apolipoprotein E (apoE), which has been shown to mediate beta-amyloid clearance from the brain and prevent its accumulation into the plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. ApoE is a lipid binding protein that circulates in the blood and the brain and remains the single greatest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Increasing the release of apoE from brain cells has actually been shown to decrease beta-amyloid plaques and improve cognitive function in animal models.
Madera's novel, drug-like compounds help to facilitate the release of apoE, aid the beta-amyloid clearance process and are hypothesized to improve symptoms, slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease and potentially reverse the course of the disease. The ADDF's grant will fund Madera's program to optimize these compounds for proof-of-concept testing.
"We are very pleased to work with the ADDF to advance these promising discoveries. The ADDF's support is critical to achieve our goal of providing Alzheimer's patients a therapy that changes the course of the disease," said Rick Jack, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer for Madera. "These funds will allow us to gain a better understanding of how our compounds affect the pathologies caused by beta-amyloid deposition."
"Madera's unique approach to enhance the secretion apoE holds great promise as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease," said Howard Fillit, MD, Executive Director for the ADDF. "Since apoE is the leading known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (after aging), developing therapeutics based on our knowledge of apoE biology a is critical challenge in our field."
There are estimated to be more than 5 million patients in the United States and more than 35 million individuals worldwide suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The disease is believed to have an annual impact of $172 billion on health care in the United States and is projected to increase rapidly in the near future.
About the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (www.AlzDiscovery.org)
The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) is the only nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease, related dementias and cognitive aging. Since 1998, the ADDF has granted more than $45 million to fund over 325 Alzheimer's drug discovery programs in academic centers and biotechnology companies in 18 countries.
About Madera Biosciences (www.maderabiosciences.com)
Madera Biosciences is a biotechnology drug discovery company focusing on Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The company was founded in 2008 by Edwin Iwanowicz, Ph.D. and is headquartered in San Diego, CA.
SOURCE Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation