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New Class Of Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Promise

July 14, 2009

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that a compound called NIC5-15 might be a safe and effective treatment to stabilize cognitive performance in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The two investigators, Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, and Hillel Grossman, MD, presented Phase IIA preliminary clinical findings at the Alzheimer’s Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Vienna. Early evidence suggests that NIC5-15 is a safe and tolerable natural compound that may reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia by preventing the formation of beta-amyloid plaque, the waxy substance that accumulates between brain cells and impacts cognitive function. NIC5-15 will be further evaluated in a Phase IIB clinical trial. "With Alzheimer’s disease affecting 5.2 million Americans, another 5 million with early-state disease, and nearly a half million new cases reported annually, treatments like NIC5-15 would make a significant difference in the lives of many Alzheimer’s patients," said Dr. Pasinetti, Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Geriatrics and Adult Development in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Said Dr. Hillel Grossman, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Co-Director of the Clinical Research Core of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Clinical Director of the Mount Sinai Memory and Aging Center, "Current drugs approved for use help maintain cognitive function, but only for a limited time. NIC5-15 is part of a new class of natural compound we found to have the potential of precluding the generation of β-amyloid and, eventually, attenuating cognitive deterioration in preclinical models of Alzheimer’s disease."