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Local dementia experts visit Russia to share best practices in phase III Alzheimer’s study

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A doctor-and-nurse team from the Neurological Associates of Albanyclinic will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, next month to meet with clinical research doctors about TauRx Therapeutics’ global phase III clinical trial for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. They are invited guests to help share their experience in conducting this study with their Russian counterparts in preparation for the study’s launch in Russia.

“As a global clinical research community, we are all striving for the same goal—to find a treatment that slows or halts the progression of Alzheimer’s disease—and this collaboration reflects that shared objective,” said Dr. Richard Holub, a neurologist and a leading principal investigator for the TauRx clinical research study. “By sharing our knowledge with the Russian clinical team, we hope to impart our experience, which they can then integrate into their own centers as the clinical research study kicks off there.”

Holub and Sue Brignull, a nurse specialist at the clinic, have screened and enrolled more than 30 mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients into TauRx Therapeutics’ phase III clinical trials since the studies launched in the U.S. in late 2012. Their background and commitment to the clinical studies prompted TauRx Therapeutics to invite them to speak to principal investigators in Russia about the practical “nuts & bolts” of conducting this trial, identifying eligible patients and supporting study participants in their journey through the clinical research process. Holub has been asked to provide insights and advice on diverse issues from the screening process through study completion.

The phase III trial is one of two studies evaluating the use of LMTX, a tau aggregation inhibitor that targets “tau tangles” in the brain. If the findings of the large-scale global studies are consistent with the earlier phase II study, they could provide the first definitive data on a tau-based treatment that dissolves the tangles and slows or halts Alzheimer’s disease. The studies culminate three decades of research by Professor Claude Wischik and colleagues at TauRx Therapeutics, a spin-out company from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, established 12 years ago. In total, the two large, phase III studies will involve over 1,500 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s in more than 20 countries.

“Holub has been involved in Alzheimer’s disease for more than two decades and we’re pleased to bring together our clinical researchers from various parts of the world to share their knowledge and insights with each another globally as part of our phase III clinical research program,” said Professor Wischik, chairman of TauRx Therapeutics.

According to the World Health Organization, currently 1.2 million people in Russia live with dementia. Currently no treatments are available to stop or reverse this devastating disease, with the highest proportion of sufferers in Western Europe.

“Clinical trials are the only way to bring new medications into the mainstream and to advance our treatment of this condition,” said Holub. “And that is the return on investment for the individual patient, for the family, for the children and for society as a whole.”

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