NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (OTCQX: AVXL) is encouraged by the findings of a research report in the current issue of peer-reviewed scientific journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. Among its conclusions, the report reveals that ANAVEX 2-73 prevents mitochondrial dysfunction and blocks resulting oxidative stress and apoptosis (cell death) in a nontransgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Mitochondrial damages have been consistently reported as an early cause of AD and appear before amyloid-beta plaques and memory decline in Alzheimer's patients and transgenic mice. Thus, by preserving mitochondrial functionality and reducing other key AD hallmarks, ANAVEX 2-73 has the potential to prevent, stop, slow or reverse the disease, in addition to treating its symptoms.
"We provided clear evidence that the neuroprotective activity of sigma-1 receptor agonists, including the mixed muscarinic ligand/sigma-1 agonist ANAVEX 2-73, involves mitochondrial protection in AD models. Indeed, the drug efficiently protected mitochondria against amyloid-beta caused impairment of mitochondrial respiration, the key energy producing process within the cell," said Tangui Maurice, PhD, one of the study authors and CNRS Research Director, Head of Team 2 'Endogenous Neuroprotection in Neurodegenerative Diseases', at the University of Montpellier and INSERM. "Mitochondrial dysfunction and resulting oxidative stress are critical hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease pathology and believed responsible for increased amyloid-beta production and Tau hyperphosphorylation."
"We are encouraged by this study, which points to the potential ability of ANAVEX 2-73 to not only protect neurons from oxidative stress and amyloid-beta overproduction, which can cause toxicity and follow-on damage, but also the ability to possibly prevent the onset of the disease," said Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. "Our approach targets Alzheimer's disease further upstream and apparently blocks these disease hallmarks, which may be a more promising approach. Combined with earlier findings that ANAVEX 2-73 restores mitochondrial functionality, this new report strengthens our compound's potential in Alzheimer's disease to also potentially act as a preventative drug."
The report, entitled "Mitochondrial protection by the mixed muscarinic/sigma-1 ligand ANAVEX 2-73, a tetrahydrofuran derivative, in Ab25–35 peptide-injected mice, a nontransgenic Alzheimer's disease model," was jointly conducted by Valentine Lahmy, Romain Long, Didier Morin, Vanessa Villard and Tangui Maurice from the University of Montpellier and INSERM, the University of Paris-Est, Henri Mondor Institute, INSERM and Amylgen. The full paper is available on the Anavex website at http://www.anavex.com/publications/.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQX: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel drug candidates to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer. The Company's lead drug candidates, ANAVEX 2-73 and ANAVEX PLUS, the combination of ANAVEX 2-73 and donepezil (Aricept®), are currently being evaluated in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease. ANAVEX 2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors and has successfully completed a Phase 1 study with a clean data profile. Preclinical studies demonstrate its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease. The drug combination, ANAVEX PLUS, produced up to 80% greater reversal of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease models versus when the drugs were used individually. Recent positive preclinical data indicates that ANAVEX 2-73 also exhibits anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties. Further information is available at www.anavex.com.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
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Source:Anavex Life Sciences Corp.