Alterity Therapeutics (ASX:ATH) has announced that a study recently published in the journal Neurotherapeutics demonstrated that its lead clinical asset, ATH434, was neuroprotective in a genetic model of Parkinson’s disease.
The company is developing disease-modifying treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.
Its lead candidate, ATH434, is an oral agent designed to inhibit the aggregation of pathological proteins implicated in neurodegeneration.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes slow or abnormal movements of the body and non-motor features that contribute significantly to morbidity and reduced quality of life.
The recent publication - ATH434 Rescues Pre‑motor Hyposmia in a Mouse Model of Parkinsonism - assessed the impact of ATH434 on motor and non-motor deficits in mice with genetically induced Parkinson’s disease.
Hyposmia, defined as reduced sensitivity to odour, is an early and common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s that precedes the typical motor symptoms by several years, occurring in approximately 90 per cent of early-stage cases of the disease.
The study found that ATH434 prevented a loss of smell in the younger mice and rescued it in older mice. The authors also demonstrated that ATH434 prevented the development of motor impairment in older animals, which was associated with a reduction in iron levels and preservation of neurons in the substantia nigra, the brain region affected in Parkinson’s.
The company said the study supports others indicating that ATH434 has a beneficial effect on the motor and non-motor symptoms in animal models of Parkinson’s.
Alterity CEO David Stamler said, “This publication provides further evidence that ATH434 has the potential to be neuroprotective in humans. The demonstration of efficacy in yet another model of Parkinson’s disease adds to the weight of evidence supporting the potential of ATH434 to address the underlying pathology of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.”