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TauRx LMTX, Alzheimer’s ‘Wonder Drug,’ Enters Phase III Trials

TauRx’s LMTX could offer hope for millions of Alzheimer’s sufferers. (Photo: BBC Radio 4)

A Singapore-based biotech company has begun late-stage clinical trials on a new kind of drug that could slow or even stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reuters reports that TauRx Therapeutics has begun Phase III studies on the experimental medication LMTX. The drug works by blocking the accumulation of tau protein, which forms twisted fibers and tangles in brain cells. It is believed that tau is one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia that causes gradual deterioration of the memory and thinking process and, eventually, death.

LMTX targets the tangles of tau protein in the brain, dissolving them and thus halting their destructive effects.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that privately-held TauRx Pharmaceuticals has begun enrolling patients worldwide for Phase III trials. More than 1,300 people in over a dozen countries will participate.

Although tau proteins have been suspected as primary culprits in the progression of Alzheimer’s since the 1990s, other pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Pfizer have focused on targeting beta amyloid plaques, another type of protein, with their experimental drugs.

“The field has been dominated by the amyloid hypothesis,” TauRx chairman Claude Wischik, who is also a professor of old-age psychiatry at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, told Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “I expect that to change over time. It is really time to test the role of tau,” he said.

Rember, an earlier form of LMTX, was tested with remarkable results. According to data from mid-stage clinical trials reported in 2008, patients demonstrated a 90 percent reduction in Alzheimer’s progression over a two-year period.

If TauRx’s trials are successful, a twice-a-day pill could be on the market in just four years, MailOnline reports. The four-year target was announced at the Clinical Trials Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Wischik told MailOnline that if successful, the pill could eventually be prescribed to everyone over the age of 60 regardless of whether or not they showed signs of dementia.

“It flatlines the disease,” Wischik said. “If you get in early, you can pull people back from the brink.”

Even if LMTX fails to live up to it’s ‘miracle cure’ billing and only proves effective at slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s, Wischik says it could still prove hugely beneficial.

“Even if people are progressing very slowly, they can stay at home with their loved ones for longer, rather than having to go into institutional care,” he told MailOnline.

Critics warn against excessive optimism, as many drugs fail in Phase III trials.

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6 Comments

  1. Vanden BosscheNovember 10, 2012 at 12:00 amReply

    Hello,

    Can you please tell me where in Belgium it is possible to participate in the phase 3 trial of the LMTX?

    Thanks in advance
    Michel

    • Brett WilkinsNovember 10, 2012 at 8:23 amReplyAuthor

      From TauRx’s website: “Phase 3 trials involving clinical teams in many countries including Europe and the US will start very shortly. At that time, this website will provide information on study involvement. It is up to the doctors in the clinical centres taking part in the study to select patients who would be suitable for the trial and explain to them what is involved. People cannot offer themselves or their relatives for the trial directly to TauRx.”

  2. HmunstegeMarch 19, 2013 at 10:19 amReply

    If there’s an LMTX tablet, I will try it.

  3. Graeme Callaghan.May 23, 2013 at 12:02 amReply

    Can you please tell me how to apply for trials. Is there an application form & how long would it take to prescribe LMTX if successful application.

  4. BeverleyMay 23, 2013 at 5:35 amReply

    Hya does any one knows where to buy LMTX
    Please help me please
    Thanks

    Beverley

  5. Roy D SnyderJuly 17, 2014 at 10:55 amReply

    I am interested in becoming part of the clinical trials if possible. ave not as yet been diagnosed, but I feel I am in the first stage of alzheimers disease and have a very strong familial history of the disease. Please let me know what I have to do to become part of this trial. Thank you,

    Roy Snyder

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