Anavex Life Sciences Reports Potential Normalization of Hypertension with ANAVEX®2-73 Published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension
NEW YORK – January 16, 2018
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (“Anavex” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases today reports that the peer-reviewed scientific journal The Journal of Clinical Hypertension  has published a post-hoc analysis of blood pressure data collected during the Phase 2a study in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients demonstrating that ANAVEX®2-73 seems to normalize systolic blood pressure (SBP) in a patient population with risk for hypertension.
Statistical analyses including paired t-testing and multivariable linear mixed effects modeling (adjusted for time of measurement, gender, age, body mass index, and use of antihypertensives) indicate a normalization of SBP from the first reading (baseline) of 143.3 mmHg to the subsequent readings after ANAVEX®2-73 administration of 132.5 mmHg (p=0.048) at day 25 and of 135.3 mmHg (p=0.008) at day 36, respectively.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when either systolic or diastolic pressure remains elevated over time. High blood pressure is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard and its extra force can damage arteries. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, kidney damage or stroke. New evidence also links high blood pressure to increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. 
Thirty-two mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients took part in the ANAVEX2-73 Phase 2a study. Mean age was 69.5 years, 60% were male, mean body mass index was 26.5 kg/m2, and 50% were on antihypertensive medication. No patients reported any changes in their antihypertensive regimen while taking part in the study.
Raymond R. Townsend, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Hypertension Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the senior author of the paper, notes “Intriguingly, systolic blood pressure was selectively normalized, the mediation of which is key in reducing the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular issues in older patients.”
“The systolic blood pressure findings may be quite clinically meaningful. There are properties of the medication that support a compelling mechanism for how it can lower high blood pressure,” states Jordana B. Cohen, MD, MSCE, Instructor of Medicine in the Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the paper. “Nonetheless, given that the Phase 2a study was not designed to measure changes in blood pressure over time, the results require further corroboration.”
“While in a previously reported Phase 1 study ANAVEX2-73 did not affect blood pressure in healthy subjects, who demonstrated normal blood pressure levels at baseline, the results of the post-hoc analysis of the Phase 2a study in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease patients with majority of patients with elevated blood pressure, warrant cautious interpretation. Blood pressure measurement was not a primary goal of this trial, however, the potential beneficial effect of sigma-1 receptor activation restoring homeostasis on blood pressure normalization merits further investigation in future clinical studies,” stated Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer. Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73, recently completed a successful a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. It has also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has awarded Anavex a research grant to develop ANAVEX®2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The grant fully funds a preclinical study, which could justify moving ANAVEX®2-73 into a Parkinson’s disease clinical trial. ANAVEX®3-71, also targeting sigma-1 and M1 muscarinic receptors, is a promising preclinical drug candidate demonstrating disease modifications against the major Alzheimer’s hallmarks in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid and tau pathologies, and also with beneficial effects on neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunctions. Further information is available at www.anavex.com. You can also connect with the company on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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 set forth in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. 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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1Renal-Electrolyte and Hypertension Division, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
2Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Michael Perlis, PhD is a consultant for Anavex Life Sciences