SMALL MOLECULE THERAPEUTICS FOR ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE SUMMARY: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and fatal neurological disorder that affects approximately one- tenth of the population over the age of 65. There is currently no cure for the disease. The pathological hallmarks of the disease include the formation and accumulation in the brain of -amyloid (A), widely recognized to be the major neurotoxic agent in AD and therapeutic target. Cenna has a novel technology that does not target the - or ?-secretases, which has yielded peptide drug candidates P8 and P4 with the ability to inhibit the production of A in vitro and in a Tg mouse model of AD. P4 and P8 give a strong, specific and biologically relevant binding with the purified ectodomain of human APP 695. P8 is at pre- clinical stage in its developemnt as a drug candidates for the treatment of AD. It would be a distinct advantage to identify small molecule compounds that can reduce A by the same mechanism as the peptides, by binding APP at the same sites as P4 and P8. These small molecule candidates may be developed as oral drugs that can cross the BBB. During the Phase 1 funding period we carried out molecular modeling studies to predict binding sites on APP for both P4 and P8. Having accomplished that, we virtually screened a library of e- compounds to identify those molecules that would be predicted to bind the same sites on APP as P4 and P8. Of the ~160,000 structures screened, a total of 249 suggested binding to APP at either the P4 or P8 binding site. Of those, we were able to successfully discover several candidates that could reduce both A 40 and 42 by 50-80% in an AD patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (ipsc) assay. In this Phase 2 application we propose to develop the best three compounds, A1, A2 and A3 further as possible orally-available disease- modifying small molecule drug candidates for the treatment of AD, that function with the same mechanism as our peptide candidates.
Our Specific Aims are 1) to carry out the synthesis and evaluation in early ADME and Pharmacokinetic (PK) properties of compounds A1-A3, 2) to design and synthesize novel analogs of compounds A1-A3 and to evaluate their early ADME and PK properties and their ability to reduce A in the AD ipsc cell-based assay and 3) to study the pharmacology/efficacy of selected compounds in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Public Health Relevance

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating degenerative neurological disorder that affects one-tenth of the population over the age of 65. There is no cure for the disease. We have discovered small molecule compounds, based on the mechanism of action of our peptide drug candidates P4 and P8 that are under development. These compounds can reduce the toxic species A in a cell based assay of AD patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells by a novel mechanism that does not target the - or ?-secretase. Our overall goal in this Phase 2 SBIR application is to further study the best three candidates A1-A3 that were selected for their efficacy in reducing A 40 and 42, and their analogs, for their pharmacokinetic and drug-like properties, so that we may arrive at one or two candidates that may be tested for their efficacy in vivo and be taken though preclinical development as novel oral disease-modifying drugs for AD.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Martin, Zane
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Cenna Biosciences, Inc.
La Jolla
United States
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