We Need Volunteers to Test Novel Approaches and Help Cure Alzheimer’s Disease

By Dr. James Brewer

 

An estimated 4.7 million Americans aged 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, and this number is projected to climb to 13.8 million by 2050. As astounding as these numbers are, the earliest phases of the illness are not captured and are believed to be even more prevalent. With so many in our community afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or caring for someone with dementia, the aggregate suffering is unfathomable.

What can be done to halt this societal scourge? The enormity of the challenge will require an “all-hands-on-deck” approach, spanning well beyond the scientists investigating the underlying molecular pathology and therapeutic targets, well beyond the entrepreneurs and chemical engineers seeking to design the next breakthrough drug, and well beyond the most innovative, risky, and disruptive ideas.

The endeavor will need to engage society into a volunteerism far broader than it has been, and to be complete, it must extend across the diversity of our community.

 

In this most human of diseases, the most critical piece to solving Alzheimer’s will be a broader engagement of volunteer participants in Alzheimer’s research. These heroes enable clinical research through the sacrifice of time and comfort to participate in rigorously conducted clinical trials and research studies.

 

You may recall public engagement in both cancer and AIDS, movements that ultimately resulted in AIDS and cancer patients living longer lives. The early clinical trial participants were the brave men and women who

began the process that dramatically reduced AIDS and cancer-related deaths.

 

Today, we are in sight of a new age of discovery in brain-related research and Alzheimer’s disease. We are gaining understanding about the underlying genetics and molecular pathways of the disease. Our hope and conviction are that this new knowledge will give us what we need to develop innovative and effective treatments for Alzheimer’s.

A major obstacle remains – we need efficient recruitment of volunteer research subjects. Often, we can’t find enough qualified people to volunteer, particularly in trials with extended time involvement, lumbar puncture, or commitment to brain autopsy at death, but it’s even true in simpler trials.

 

Advancing research will rely on altruistic and, for some of our studies, brave volunteers, so how does one motivate people to step forward and participate in today’s more involved and extensive Alzheimer’s disease clinical research?

 

We want to engage the 10,000 Baby Boomers and people well into their 70s and 80s – even 90s – that they can help and convince them of the tremendous value they can bring to this fight.

 

Without human studies, there will be no treatment and prevention. Without treatment and prevention, we can expect Alzheimer’s to bankrupt the U.S. health system along with an unbearable number of families.

 

The Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study at UC San Diego coordinates clinical trials around the country. Early phase clinical trials are of importance as they help us diversify the pipeline of what might eventually become the cure. A trial taking place at six clinical sites right now, called Discover, is testing a new drug, Posiphen. Posiphen works differently than the drugs tested so far and the new approach by which this drug fights the disease is very exciting.

 

In Discover, we are asking patients with memory loss, known as mild cognitive impairment, or early Alzheimer’s disease to stay a short time in the hospital for multiple tests, including a type of lumbar puncture that allows continuous sampling of spinal fluid. Spinal fluid mirrors what is going on in the brain and we can measure changes in production of APP/Abeta, tau/phospho-tau and alpha-synuclein, the important proteins implicated in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

 

The study asks a lot of its volunteers, but we feel the fight against Alzheimer’s requires innovative, bold techniques, always with great attention given to patient safety, including rigorous Institutional Review Board monitoring.

 

I am convinced of this: Volunteers in trials should be viewed as heroes for a vital cause – Regardless of whether the study of their participation produces the cure, these volunteers should be credited with the eventual cure. This disease will be cured through knowledge gained incrementally, and it is almost assured that the first person cured will be a clinical trial participant. What a wonderful day that will be.

For more information on Alzheimer’s clinical trials, visit www.adcs.org

 

Dr. James Brewer is Director of the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego.

QR Pharma, Inc. to Participate in Harvard’s Neuro Advance Boston Conference

  • President and CEO, Dr. Maria Maccecchini, to Speak —

 

Berwyn, PA, October 4, 2016 — QR Pharma, Inc., a privately held Phase 2 biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that Maria Maccecchini, Ph.D., President and CEO, will participate in the Neuro Advance Boston Conference being held on October 11, 2017 at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.

 

Dr. Maria Maccecchini will be a speaker in a panel entitled “Challenges of CNS Translational Research.” Neuro Advance Boston is an off-the-record forum that brings together Heads from top biopharmaceutical companies, CEOs, CMOs, and CSOs working in the neurodegeneration, neuroscience and pain management space to discuss the critical issues facing neuro drug development.

 

About QR Pharma, Inc.

Headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, QR Pharma, Inc. is a clinical-stage company committed to developing therapeutics with novel approaches for the treatment of cognitive and functional impairment in neurological disorders.

QR is currently developing Posiphen as a disease-modifying drug for acute as well as chronic neurodegeneration and BNC for advanced Alzheimer’s disease. For more information on QR Pharma, please visit the company’s website, www.qrpharma.com

Contact: Maria Maccecchini
Tel: 610-727 3710
Fax: 610 727 4001
maccecchini@qrpharma.com
www.qrpharma.com

QR Pharma, Inc. Presents New Data on Posiphen in Down Syndrome at the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference (AAIC 2017 London)

QR Pharma, Inc. Presents New Data on Posiphen in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease at the 13th AD/PD International Conference

–Posiphen Restores Memory and Learning and Brain Function as well as Gut Motility and Coordination in Mice Models of AD and PD–

 

Berwyn, Pa., March 16, 2017 — QR Pharma, Inc., a privately held phase 2 biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the presentation at the 13th AD/PD International Conference in Vienna, Austria, “Treating Acute and Chronic Neurodegeneration by Inhibiting Neurotoxic Aggregating Proteins” showing data relating to its lead clinical product candidate, Posiphen. The talk is scheduled for Sunday April 2, 2017 at 13:00.

 

The presentation highlights studies conducted by investigators from Columbia University characterizing the effects of Posiphen in a transgenic model of AD and from UCSF showing the effects of Posiphen in a transgenic model of PD. Posiphen administered daily orally to transgenic APP/PS1 mice preserved spatial working memory and brain function; while administered daily intraperitoneally to transgenic alpha-synuclein mice it restored gut motility and coordination.

 

“These are impressive results for Posiphen” commented Ottavio Arancio, MD, PhD, Professor at Columbia University. “The mechanism of action of the compound leading to pleiotropic effects in multiple neurodegenerative conditions is quite novel and very interesting.”

 

“These studies provide further confirmation of the neuroprotective effects of Posiphen,” stated Maria Maccecchini, Ph.D., President and CEO of QR Pharma.  “They add to a deep data set supporting the unique activity and potentially broad application of Posiphen in chronic as well as acute neurodegenerative conditions.”

 

A full copy of the AD/PD talk entitled, “Treating Acute and Chronic Neurodegeneration by Inhibiting Neurotoxic Aggregating Proteins,” is available by visiting the “Scientific Presentations” in the Press Room section of QR Pharma’s website at www.qrpharma.com.

 

 

 

About QR Pharma, Inc.

Headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, QR Pharma, Inc. is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company committed to developing therapeutics with novel approaches for the treatment of cognitive impairment in neurological disorders.

QR is currently developing Posiphen as a disease-modifying drug for acute as well as chronic neurodegeneration and BNC for advanced Alzheimer’s disease. For more information on QR Pharma, please visit the company’s website, www.qrpharma.com

Contact: Maria Maccecchini
Tel: 610-727 3710
Fax: 610 727 4001
maccecchini@qrpharma.com
www.qrpharma.com

QR Pharma Announces Publication on Posiphen Clinical Trials Showing Promise for Alzheimer’s Patients

WallStreet Journal – Serial Entrepreneur to Receive Award – November 1, 2011

WallStreet Journal – Serial Entrepreneur to Receive Award – November 1, 2011  Article >>>>>

Philadelphia Business Journal – QR Pharma to start trial on Alzheimer’s drug – February 10, 2010