In Croatia, three international leaders in Alzheimer’s discuss ongoing clinical trials and global dementia policy ahead of the G8 Dementia Research Summit in London next week
Professor Claude Wischik, Chairman of TauRx Therapeutics, Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), and Prof. Ninoslav Mimica, President of Alzheimer Croatia, provide the latest news about ADI’s global dementia policy and the Croatian launch of a global Alzheimer’s Research Study
Zagreb, Croatia, 5 December, 2013 – Just ahead of the upcoming G8 Dementia Research Summit (to be held in London), leaders from TauRx Therapeutics, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), and Alzheimer Croatia met with physicians in Zagreb to discuss global dementia policy, the need for new treatment options in Croatia, and the recent launch of TauRx Therapeutics’ Phase 3 clinical trials of LMTX™, an investigational treatment aimed at slowing or halting the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
The meeting took place on 28th November at the Alzheimer Disease Societies Croatia headquarters in Zagreb, and brought together more than 30 physicians, Alzheimer’s advocates, carers and patients to hear first-hand about the global studies taking place in Croatia. They also learned about Professor Wischik’s 30 years of research into tau pathology which ultimately led to the development of LMTX™, the second-generation tau aggregation inhibitor involved in the studies. Clinical research centres in Croatia are now screening and enrolling mild and moderate Alzheimer’s patients into the TauRx clinical trial. Croatia is one of up to 20 countries selected, which will enrol over 1,700 Alzheimer’s patients worldwide.
Marc Wortmann of ADI underscored the importance of studies aimed at halting the progression of Alzheimer’s in light of the growing global Alzheimer’s epidemic. He stressed that the importance of such research will be emphasized at the upcoming G8 Dementia Research Summit. Professor Ninoslav Mimica, president of the Croatian Alzheimer Society and a clinical researcher at the Psychiatric Hospital Vrapce in Zagreb, brought the current impact of dementia into context with an update on efforts to influence policy change toward dementia research and treatment in Croatia. He is also one of the clinical research centres across Croatia conducting the TauRx clinical trial.
“There is a high incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in Croatia, with about 80,000 people currently living with dementia, and this is expected to double every 20 years,” said Professor Mimica. “Psychogeriatric departments exist in hospitals, but there are almost no nursing homes and an insufficient number of daily care centres for people with dementia. Here, as is the situation in the rest of the world, currently available treatments only treat the symptoms and do little to stop or reverse Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, in Croatia available treatments are not fully reimbursed, so it is difficult to meet the current standard of care, which is to diagnose and intervene early and proactively.”
“A medicine that can keep people functioning and at home for longer is clearly essential and time is of the essence to meet this growing need,” said Professor Claude Wischik, Co-Founder and Chairman of TauRx Therapeutics. “These Phase 3 clinical studies mark an important step forward in our quest to find such a disease-modifying agent that can help slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease for Croatians and others.” TauRx’s clinical trials for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and for behavioural variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD), a rare neurodegenerative disease caused by a similar form of pathology as in Alzheimer’s, are the first Phase 3 trials of a Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI), which targets and dissolves ‘tau tangles’ in the brain, and directly linked to the development of the disease. If successful, LMTX™ will be the first tau-based treatment approach for Alzheimer’s disease. The Phase 3 clinical studies culminate three decades of research by Professor Wischik and colleagues at TauRx, a spin-out company from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, established 11 years ago.