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Anavex Life Sciences Strengthens its Scientific Advisory Board with Distinguished Researcher for Clinical Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD)
NEW YORK, Nov. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (“Anavex” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced the appointment of Dag Aarsland, MD, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Aarsland is Professor and the Head of Department of Old Age Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK. Professor Aarsland is also consultant psychiatrist at the Mental Health for Older Adults and Dementia, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, where he leads the Parkinson Spectrum Memory Clinic.
Professor Aarsland earned medical degrees from Universities of Bochum, Germany and Oslo, Norway, with training as a specialist in psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry. He founded and still leads the nationally acclaimed Centre for Age-Related Disease at Stavanger University Hospital. He completed his PhD and became appointed Associate Professor and later Full Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University in Bergen, Norway. Later he became Professor at the University of Oslo, before becoming appointed as Professor of Clinical dementia research at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. After working in Sweden for five years he moved to his current position at King’s College London.
Professor Aarsland developed and led the European Consortium for dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), with more than 25 centers across 13 European countries, with a common database of more than 1,200 DLB patients, by far the largest DLB sample in the world. He developed a Parkinson-spectrum Memory Clinic focusing on Parkinson’s disease and dementia with DLB patients. Professor Aarsland played a central role in the study and subsequent paper that lead to the licensing of rivastigmine for Parkinsonian dementia. Professor Aarsland has published more than 400 scientific papers and numerous books and served as an invited speaker at frequent psychiatric and neurological international scientific conferences.
“I am very impressed with the scientific and clinical data of ANAVEX®2-73 so far and I am intrigued about the potential outcome on cognition of ANAVEX®2-73 in the ongoing Parkinson’s disease dementia Phase 2 study, since there is such a significant unmet medical need around the globe caused by cognitive impairment, including dementia, and behavioral changes in Parkinson’s patients,” commented Professor Dag Aarsland, MD, PhD.
“We are pleased to welcome Professor Dag Aarsland to Anavex’s Scientific Advisory Board,” stated Christopher U Missling, PhD, President and CEO of Anavex. “Professor Aarsland brings extensive experience in Parkinson’s disease dementia to Anavex. I am confident he will make important contributions to our SAB and to the continued development of ANAVEX®2-73 for Parkinson’s disease dementia.”
About Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD)
Parkinson’s disease is a fairly common neurological disorder in older adults, estimated to affect nearly 2 percent of those older than age 65. The Parkinson’s Foundation estimates that 1 million Americans have Parkinson’s disease. It is estimated that 50 to 80 percent of those with Parkinson’s disease eventually experience Parkinson’s disease dementia. The brain changes caused by Parkinson’s disease begin in a region that plays a key role in movement. As Parkinson’s brain changes gradually spread, they often begin to affect mental functions, including memory and the ability to pay attention, make sound judgments and plan the steps needed to complete a task.
 Source: www.alz.org/dementia/parkinsons-disease-symptoms
ANAVEX®2-73 activates the Sigma-1 receptor (S1R) protein, which serves as a molecular chaperone and functional modulator involved in restoring homeostasis. In a Phase 2a Alzheimer’s disease (AD) study, ANAVEX®2-73 has shown dose dependent improvement in exploratory endpoints of cognition (MMSE) and activities of daily living (ADCS-ADL). Full genomic analysis of ANAVEX®2-73 Phase 2a AD patients was performed. The ANAVEX®2-73 Phase 2 PDD study design includes genomic biomarkers identified in the ANAVEX®2-73 Phase 2a AD study. Studies of ANAVEX®2-73 in a disease modifying model of Parkinson’s disease indicates that ANAVEX®2-73 is well tolerated, induces significant motor recovery (p<0.05), induces neurohistological restoration (p<0.05) and reduces microglial activation (p<0.05), a potential biomarker of Parkinson’s disease. Behavioral patterns were completely normal, meaning no signs of either dystonia or stereotypic behaviors were detected in animals receiving the treatment. These studies were funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer. Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73, recently completed a successful Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research previously awarded Anavex a research grant, which fully funded a preclinical study to develop ANAVEX®2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. ANAVEX®3-71, which targets sigma-1 and M1 muscarinic receptors, is a promising preclinical drug candidate demonstrating disease-modifying activity against the major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid and tau pathologies. In preclinical trials, ANAVEX®3-71 has shown beneficial effects on neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. Further information is available at www.anavex.com. You can also connect with the company on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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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