Chicago, Illinois — July 30, 2008 — ANAVEX Life Sciences Corp. (OTCBB: AVXL), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics to treat Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases and cancer, today presented data from the company’s novel compound, ANAVEX 1-41, targeting Alzheimer’s disease, at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD) 2008, Chicago, USA, July 26 to 31, 2008. The compound has a synergistic neuroprotective and anti-apoptotic effect in Alzheimer’s disease in animal models using amyloid (beta) 25-35 peptide.
“We are pleased by our continued progress in the development of ANAVEX 1-41, and are excited to be presenting data regarding its potent neuroprotective and anti-apoptotic properties at such low doses at ICAD,” said Dr. Vamvakides, Chief Scientific Officer of ANAVEX. “Based on our pre-clinical studies to date, we continue to believe that ANAVEX 1-41 may offer disease-modifying options that reverse memory and learning deficits and protect nerve cells from death.”
The Anavex Life Sciences presentation is entitled: “Neuroprotective effects of activators/agonists of the sigma-1 chaperone protein against amyloid toxicity in a mouse model.” The authors are: Tanguy Maurice (1), Vanessa Villard (1), Johann Meaner (1), Emetine Keller (1), Fanny Malaria (1), Alexandre Vamvakides (2) 1. Inserm U. 710, EPHE, Univ. Montpellier II, Montpellier, France 2. Anavex Life Sciences,Pallini,Greece.
The presentation notes:
Neuroprotection was attained in the ANAVEX 1-41 compound at very low doses (0,1mg/kg) in mice. At the same doses there was synergy between Sigma-1 receptors and Muscarinic receptors, amplifying the anti-amnesic potential effects, as well as the anti-apoptotic and the anti-oxidative stress potential.
Neuroprotection is the most important component necessary to attain long-term benefits in neurodegenerative diseases. In Alzheimer’s disease, neuroprotection is about shielding the neuronal cells in the brain from degeneration or death. Therefore, ANAVEX’s potent neuroprotective compound may offer disease-modifying treatment and not merely symptomatic relief from Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, the compound does not target pathologoanatomic hallmarks, such as amyloid-plaques, whose role has turned out to be controversial, since approaches to inhibit them have failed to provide compelling benefit.
Anavex’s approach is based on the exploitation of the multiple modulation properties of Sigma-1 receptors, which are as of yet unexploited by the existing drugs in the market. Sigma-1 receptors are proteins that regulate the activity of other different proteins (like IP3 receptors or ER stress sensors) and also of sodium and calcium channels. Moreover, through their modulatory role, Sigma-1 receptors are able to regulate cellular apoptotic processes.
Unlike the challenge of pro-amyloid and anti-amyloid theories of AD, Anavex Life Sciences’ SIGMACEPTOR(TM) Discovery Platform sigma-1 activator molecules target neuronal intracellular structures with the goal of preventing neurodegenerative action of disturbed biochemical pathways and channels.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (www.anavex.com) is an emerging biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel drug targets for the treatment of cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and depression. The company’s proprietary SIGMACEPTOR(tm) Discovery Platform involves the rational design of drug compounds that fulfill specific criteria based on unmet market needs and new scientific advances. Selected drug candidates demonstrate high, non-exclusive affinity for sigma receptors, which are involved in the modulation of multiple cellular biochemical signaling pathways.
ANAVEX’s SIGMACEPTOR(tm)-N program involves the development of novel and original drug candidates that target neurological and neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, depression, pain). The company’s lead drug candidates exhibit high, non-exclusive affinity for sigma receptors with strong evidence for anti-amnesic, neuroprotective, anti-apoptotic, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, anti-depressant and anxiolytic properties. The company believes that oxidative stress, not amyloid-beta, is the cause of Alzheimer’s. ANAVEX 1-41, uses sigma receptors, a unique class of receptor molecules, to guard against oxidative stress and repair cells compromised by its effects. So far, through the advanced pre-clinical phase of development, the compound has performed extremely well in well-recognized animal models of Alzheimer’s disease, underscoring the promise of this alternative approach to the disease.
ANAVEX SIGMACEPTOR(tm)-C program involves the development of novel and original drug candidates targeting cancer. The company’s lead drug candidates exhibit high, non-exclusive affinity for sigma receptors with strong evidence for selective pro-apoptotic, anti-metastatic and low toxicity properties in various types of solid cancers such as colon, prostate, breast and lung. ANAVEX 7-1037 has already demonstrated its ability to significantly delay the growth of cancerous tumors in patient-derived xenografts during advanced pre-clinical studies.
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 and uncertainties inherent in drug discovery and development, which include, without limitation, the potential failure of development candidates to advance through preclinical studies or demonstrate safety and efficacy in clinical testing and the ability to file an IND or commence clinical studies. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 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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