Prana’s (Nasdaq:PRAN) PBT2 – Directly Restores Neurons Critical to Cognition – Stock Highlight

Mar 22nd, 2011


Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior—Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks — Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues— Although current Alzheimer treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers — For nearly 30 years the ‘amyloid hypothesis’ has been the dominant focus of Research and Developement in Alzheimer’s Disease AD)— I’m Christina Collins with CRWE Newswire — Today’s company highlight is Prana Bitechnology Limited trading with the symbol PRAN — At its heart, the ‘amyloid hypothesis’ for Alzheimer’s Disease positions amyloid deposits in the brain, composed of various forms of A-beta peptide, as causally linked to the progression of the disease — These extracellular plaques became the first target for anti-amyloid therapy—The goal of any drug was to reduce amyloid (by analogy, reducing cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease — In recent years a number of drugs have been tested in the clinic to see if patients suffering from AD can be helped — Most of these drugs have been based on the amyloid hypothesis— Unfortunately all of the later stage trials of these drugs that have been reported to date have failed—Even where some of these drugs were both designed to, and have demonstrated a decrease in amyloid, patients showed no improvement in cognition— Naturally, some began to question whether the amyloid hypothesis was right or wrong— Certainly, the few drugs that are currently approved treatments for AD, that offer only temporary help with symptoms, are not based on the amyloid hypothesis–////—In contrast, Prana’s Phase IIa trial with PBT2 was successful— Although, in a sense PBT2 is also based on the amyloid hypothesis, PBT2 embraces a very important difference— A difference which the company believes is the difference between its success, in which Prana is very confident, and the failure of other high profile trials that have been reported— Unlike other strategies, Prana Biotechnology targets the initial disease progression steps that result in A-beta becoming toxic, being the interaction with metals in the brain —-Prana understands that tight controls on metal distribution and homeostasis fatigue with age, enabling toxic metal laden A-beta oligomers to form in synapses impairing neurotransmission— PBT2 targets these metals, restoring neuronal function to treat the disease — Prana Biotechnology recently reported the publication of new data on the ability of PBT2 to repair the damage in an Alzheimer’s affected brain thereby facilitating the restoration of cognition in Alzheimer’s Disease — The findings help to explain the rapid improvement in cognition previously reported in transgenic Alzheimer’s mice and in patients in a Phase IIa clinical trial with PBT2 — The article published in the science journal PLoS ONE is entitled “Metal Ionophore Treatment Restores Dendritic Spine Density and Synaptic Protein Levels in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease”— The authors led by Dr Paul Adlard, Head of The Synaptic Neurobiology Laboratory at The Mental Health Research Institute, describe the biochemical and anatomical changes occurring in the brains of transgenic Alzheimer’s mice treated with PBT2 — After 11 days of treatment, the brains of the Alzheimer’s mice showed a statistically significant increase in the numbers of spines on the branches (or dendrites) of neurons in the hippocampus, a memory centre specifically affected in AD— Increasing the number of spines is important as this permits many more neurons to interconnect with any particular neuron thereby increasing the brain’s capacity to carry out learning and memory functions— Importantly, these anatomical changes to the hippocampus were also accompanied by increased levels in key proteins involved in learning, memory and neuronal growth — The levels of many of these proteins were restored to the levels seen in healthy, cognitively normal animals— According to Prana’s Head of Research, Associate Professor Robert Cherny, ”The ability of PBT2 to promote the forming and reforming of connections between neurons is fundamental to the repair of brain tissue damaged by AD, and the expression of key neuronal receptors and signaling proteins indicates that the repaired tissue is functional”—In a series of parallel experiments, the authors also administered PBT2 to cultured neurons—In these in vitro experiments, PBT2 was able to elicit elongation of ‘arm like’ projections from the immature developing neurons called neurites— These projections can ultimately mature into either axons or dendrites of an adult neuron— Significantly, the changes observed in the in vitro experiments were strictly dependent on the presence of copper or zinc in the growth medium, confirming that the restorative effect of PBT2 is due to its ability to deliver these metals to deficient neurons—It has previously been shown that PBT2 neutralises the toxicity of the Alzheimer’s Abeta protein, by preventing the formation of toxic aggregates or oligomers— These new results further explain how PBT2 can achieve such rapid improvements in cognition: by liberating copper and zinc trapped in amyloid deposits and returning those essential metals to neurons, where they are needed for normal function—For more information about Prana Biotechnology Limited, symbol PRAN, visit — I’m Christina Collins with CRWE Newswire



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