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New molecule could be a possible drug candidate for Alzheimer’s | India News


BENGALURU: After more than 10 years of research, scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have developed a small molecule that can prevent the mechanism that causes neurons (brain cells) to become dysfunctional in Alzheimer’s disease (EA).
The team led by Professor T Govindaraju is confident that the molecule, dubbed TGR63, could be a possible drug candidate to stop or cure the main cause of dementia. “We are preparing for clinical trials and we are looking to partner with pharmaceutical companies both in India and abroad,” Govindaraju told TOI.
Stating that in the Alzheimer’s brain, abnormal levels of naturally-formed proteins clump together to form plaques that build up between neurons and disrupt cell function, Govindraju said this is caused by the production and deposition of a protein called amyloid peptide (Aβ) that accumulates in the central nervous system.
“The multifactorial nature of AD, attributed to multifaceted amyloid toxicity, has prevented researchers from developing an effective treatment. Now, we have designed and synthesized a set of novel small molecules and identified a prime candidate that they found could reduce the toxicity of Aβ, “he explained.
He said detailed studies have established TGR63 to rescue neuronal cells from amyloid toxicity. Surprisingly, he said, the molecule was also found to reduce the amyloid load in the cortex and hippocampus, or a complex part embedded deep in the temporal lobe, thus reversing cognitive decline. This research has been published recently in the journal Advanced Therapeutics.
“Any treatment related to the brain has a great challenge in breaking the blood-brain barrier that prevents drugs from reaching the brain. In this case, TGR63 manages to break this and enter the brain, ”he said.
He added that while available treatments provide temporary relief, there are no approved drugs that act directly on the disease mechanisms of AD. He noted that while the incidence, and especially deaths from most major diseases such as cancer, are declining globally, AD has increased by 71%. Thus, there is an unmet need to develop drug candidates to stop or cure Alzheimer’s disease.
“During our studies, the brains of mice affected by AD, when treated with TGR63, showed a significant reduction in amyloid deposits, validating its therapeutic efficacy. The mice also showed a reduction in learning disability, memory impairment and cognitive impairment, as revealed by various behavioral tests. These key attributes have validated the potential of TGR63 as a promising drug candidate for the treatment of AD, ”said Govindaraju.

Times of India