Neurodegenerative disease specialist TauRx Therapeutics and Toronto Memory Program have joined in the Canadian launch of the phase III clinical trials of TauRx Therapeutics' LMTX, the company's investigational treatment aimed at slowing or halting the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
"The approval given by Health Canada to TauRx to initiate these phase III clinical studies marks an important step forward in our quest to find a disease-modifying agent that can help slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease for Canadians and others," said Claude Wischik, TauRx Therapeutics executive chairman and co-founder.
Wischik said, "Unlike cancer where we often talk about 'survivors,' in Alzheimer's there are no 'survivors.' Alzheimer's is a terminal illness, so a medicine that can keep people functioning and at home is essential."
The four drugs currently approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's target the symptoms rather than the causes. TauRx's clinical trials for Alzheimer's and for behavioral variant Frontotemporal Dementia, a rare neurodegenerative disease caused by a similar form of pathology, are the first phase III trials of a Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI), which targets and dissolves 'tau tangles' in the brain, and directly linked to the development of the disease.
If successful, LMTX will be the first tau-based treatment approach for Alzheimer's.
Canada plays an important role in TauRx phase III study that will involve over 1,700 patients in more than 20 countries. These studies culminate three decades of research by Wischik and colleagues at TauRx, a spin-out from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, established 11 years ago.