August 13, 2007

New Medication for Improved Cognitive Function Moves to Phase II Testing

As we've reported in the past - there are a number of new medications that are currently in development or in testing for treating the problem of cognitive impairment that is common in schizophrenia. The hope is that if new mediations can be created that minimize this problem, then perhaps many more people who have schizophrenia can return to work, or work at a higher level of functioning (if they are already working).

A list of our stories on new medications in development can be found here.

Recently, Allon Therapeutics Inc. announced that in collaboration with TURNS (Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition and Schizophrenia) and with support from the National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (NARSAD) they will add an imaging-biomarker component to the current Phase II efficacy trial evaluating AL-108 as a treatment for schizophrenia-related cognitive impairment.

In this new phase II study three different imaging techniques will be used to investigate whether AL-108 treatment results in a change in the brain structures affected by schizophrenia. TURNS believes that based on the mechanism of action of Allon's product (temporarily called "AL-108" during the testing phases), structural changes in the brain should correlate with an improvement in cognitive function.

Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, Director of the Scientific Operations Unit, Treatment Units for Research on Neurocognition and Schizophrenia, stated that the imaging-biomarker endpoint is important in the understanding of the scope of AL-108 in the treatment of schizophrenia.

"We believe the addition of the imaging-biomarker component to this study will increase our understanding of how this novel compound (AL-108) can improve a patient's cognitive performance through structural changes in the brain," Dr. Lieberman said. "Our hypothesis is that since Allon's AL-108 product is neuroprotective, targeting the microtubules and preserving the structure and function of neurons, changes in specific regions of the brain should be detectable and related to treatment response."

The TURNS-Allon study has received IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval to begin patient enrollment for the Phase II efficacy trial in schizophrenia-related cognitive impairment. The phase II trial is a multicenter, double blind, placebo-controlled study, evaluating AL-108 in chronic schizophrenia. Allon and TURNS expect to begin dosing shortly.

To learn more about this phase II study - contact the company directly or read more at their web site:

About Allon

Allon Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage Canadian biotechnology company developing drugs that protect against neurodegenerative conditions such as cognitive impairment. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "NPC" (Neuro Protection Company(TM)) and based in Vancouver.


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