Biohaven and the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) have jointly launched a Phase 2 clinical trial for the investigational drug trigriluzole, a glutamate modulating candidate that could potentially improve symptoms in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Preclinical studies and post-mortem human Alzheimer’s studies suggest that abnormalities in the signaling of the neurotransmitter glutamate — the brain’s dominant fast-acting neurotransmitter — contribute to devastating diseases including ataxia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Trigriluzole, which is being developed by Biohaven, was first tested as a potential treatment for ataxias. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial is being jointly sponsored by ADCS and Biohaven, based in New Haven, Connecticut.
Supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging — a division of the National Institutes of Health — the ADCS consortium promotes the discovery and testing of new Alzheimer’s medicines. In that regard, ADCS has completed many Alzheimer’s clinical trials. The consortium operates out of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and has numerous clinical research sites at academic and private research centers in the United States and Canada. Biohaven and ADCS began collaborating six months ago.
“We are excited to be working with the ADCS to evaluate trigriluzole in patients with AD and attempt to alleviate suffering from this devastating disease,” Dr. Vlad Coric, Biohaven’s CEO, said in a press release, “We will continue to apply our innovative neuroscience expertise along with the leading external partners to attempt to help patients who currently suffer without safe and effective treatments.”
Added Dr. Howard Feldman, director of the ADCS and professor of neurosciences at UCSD: “The preclinical evidence for the active metabolite of trigriluzole to modulate glutamate and confer neuroprotective effects in AD patients appears to be compelling, and the new formulation of trigriluzole may improve its pharmacological properties and potential for efficacy in AD.”