Now that the FDA has approved Biogen’s Aduhelm even with its mixed results, it theoretically has made it easier for other newer treatments to get approved.
That anticipation is why shares of Annovis Bio and Cassava Sciences are now higher by over 1,000% so far in 2021. They each give a new path for treating Alzheimer’s that has given promising results.
Unlike most AD medicines, Annovis Bio’s ANVS401 is not created to remove amyloid from the brain. Rather it solves the symptoms of end-stage Alzheimer’s, the company is focusing on the starting steps of the toxic cascade. Its scientists have honed in on lowering a neurotoxin protein that causes nerve cell destruction. These proteins are useful when the brain is only slightly harmed. However, they stay around when damage is great, disrupting the cells needed to transport substances.
Despite its phase 2 study just being created to detect biomarkers, preliminary information is revealing gains in primary function. It also is working for Parkinson’s disease. The study has 14 patients with AD and 14 patients with PD. In AD, ANVS401 caused a 30% cognition improvement in only 25 days. With PD, there were statistically great gains in coordination, motor function, and speed.
Like Annovis Bio’s work, Cassava’s simufilam product is not created to remove amyloid from a person’s brain. Instead, it restores a scaffolding protein. That protein (FLNA), helps build the cells’ structure. It is the stuff that physically holds the brain up. When it folds incorrectly, it leads to inflammation like what is seen in Alzheimer’s.
In February, Cassava announced it had concluded its phase 2 study and had gotten approval from the FDA to go onto phase 3. That news brought the stock up almost 400% higher over the next days. That is even after it grew over 250% in September of last year, the month its initial results were made public. Data showed Alzheimer’s patients who got the drug for six months showed both greater cognition and behavior. Cognition increased 10% and dementia behaviors decreased by 29%.
Author: Steven Sinclaire