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Memory Pharmaceuticals Initiates Biomarker Study of R3487/MEM 3454 in Schizophrenia

December 24, 2008

MONTVALE, N.J., Dec. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Nasdaq: MEMY) today announced that it has dosed the first patient in its Phase 2 clinical study of the effect of R3487/MEM 3454, a nicotinic alpha-7 partial agonist, on electrophysiological biomarkers in patients with schizophrenia. The study will evaluate the effect of four doses of R3487/MEM 3454 on electrophysiological biomarkers (such as P50 sensory gating) that have been shown to be closely associated with schizophrenia.

“Recent research suggests that nicotinic alpha-7 receptor agonists may improve the abnormal electrophysiological responses associated with schizophrenia. This trial will evaluate whether we can use these responses as biomarkers to predict or assess the effects of R3487/MEM 3454 in this patient population,” stated Stephen Murray, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Memory Pharmaceuticals. “This biomarker trial complements our ongoing Phase 2 trial of R3487/MEM 3454 in cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, and we look forward to reporting the results in the third quarter of 2009.”

The double-blind, placebo-controlled biomarker study will enroll 12 non-smoking patients with stable schizophrenia who are receiving certain types of antipsychotic drugs. Subjects will be randomized to receive R3487/MEM 3454 and placebo in a 5-way cross-over design. Each subject will participate in 5 treatment periods. During each period, subjects will receive single doses of either 1 mg, 5 mg, 15 mg, or 50 mg of R3487/MEM 3454 or placebo, with a 4 to 10-day wash-out period between each treatment period. The primary outcome of the trial is the effect of R3487/MEM 3454 on P50 sensory gating and the potential utility of P50 as an efficacy biomarker for nicotinic alpha-7 agonists in schizophrenia. Secondary outcome measurements include additional electrophysiological biomarkers, called mismatch negativity and P300.

The study is being funded by Roche under the companies’ nicotinic alpha-7 receptor agonist collaboration agreement.

Evoked Potentials in Schizophrenia

Electrophysiology measures have long been used to detect changes in brain activity in patients with schizophrenia. These patients often have a diminished ability to suppress the evoked response to the second of two auditory stimuli, known as sensory gating. Studies have shown that this abnormality is genetically linked to the nicotinic alpha-7 receptor and can be measured through the P50 auditory evoked response, a waveform measured 50 milliseconds after an auditory stimulus. Recent scientific studies have shown that a nicotinic alpha-7 agonist can improve both cognition and P50 inhibition, giving rise to the possibility that P50 can be used to track cognitive effects for this class of compounds. Other, similar measures abnormal in patients with schizophrenia are mismatch negativity (the pre-attentional response to a deviation from a repetitive auditory pattern) and P300 (an attentional response to a deviation from a repetitive auditory pattern).

About R3487/MEM 3454

R3487/MEM 3454 is a partial agonist of the nicotinic alpha-7 receptor, a highly specialized receptor found in the central nervous system, being developed in partnership with Roche. In a Phase 2a study in Alzheimer’s disease patients, R3487/MEM 3454 demonstrated a statistically significant effect on multiple measures of cognition. The compound is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 trial in cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, with top-line results expected by the end of April 2009.

About the Company

Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp., a biopharmaceutical company, is focused on developing innovative drugs for the treatment of debilitating CNS disorders, many of which exhibit significant impairment of memory and other cognitive functions, including Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. For additional information, please visit our website at http://www.memorypharma.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, regarding management’s expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or Memory Pharmaceuticals’ prospects, future financial position, future revenues and projected costs should be considered forward-looking. Readers are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from projections or estimates due to a variety of important factors, including the outcome of clinical trials of Memory Pharmaceuticals’ drug candidates and whether they demonstrate these candidates’ safety and effectiveness; the risks and uncertainties associated with: the possibility that the Company’s acquisition by Roche will not be completed, obtaining additional financing to support Memory Pharmaceuticals’ R&D and clinical activities and operations; obtaining regulatory approvals to conduct clinical trials and to commercialize Memory Pharmaceuticals’ drug candidates; Memory Pharmaceuticals’ ability to enter into and maintain collaborations with third parties for its drug development programs; Memory Pharmaceuticals’ dependence on its collaborations and its license relationships; achieving milestones under Memory Pharmaceuticals’ collaborations; Memory Pharmaceuticals’ dependence on preclinical and clinical investigators, preclinical and clinical research organizations, manufacturers and consultants; protecting the intellectual property developed by or licensed to Memory Pharmaceuticals; and Memory Pharmaceuticals’ ability to maintain listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. These and other risks are described in greater detail in Memory Pharmaceuticals’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Memory Pharmaceuticals may not actually achieve the goals or plans described in its forward-looking statements, and investors should not place undue reliance on these statements. Memory Pharmaceuticals disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.

SOURCE Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp.


Source: newswire



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