CTD Holdings and the Kerwin Research Center are discussing working together on the use of cholesterol-lowering therapies called cyclodextrins as possible treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
Cyclodextrins are non-toxic compounds made up of sugar molecules that can bind with and extract cholesterol. Preclinical-trial studies in Niemann-Pick disease and Alzheimer’s show they can protect nerve cells, suggesting they can become a potential therapy for the disorders.
Scientists know high cholesterol is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. They also know that cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce the progression of the disease. This may be because cholesterol and membrane lipid proteins can control the production of the harmful beta-amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s.
“More than 25 million people globally suffer from dementia, most with Alzheimer’s disease,” Sharon Hrynkow, CTD’s senior vice president for medical affairs, said in a press release. “With no cure, few treatment options, and the number of elderly people globally expected to reach 1 billion by the year 2030, there is an urgent need for new treatments to combat this devastating disease.”
CTD was the first company to use cyclodextrin-based products as a therapy for conditions that involve mental deterioration. Its lead product, Trappsol Cyclo, has received orphan drug status in the United States and Europe. The designation is aimed at accelerating the development and regulatory review of treatments for rare disease.
CTD is evaluating Trappsol Cyclo as a treatment for people with Niemann-Pick Disease Type C in two clinical trials (NCT02939547 and NCT02912793). Now it wants to work with the Kerwin Research Center to explore the potential of cyclodextrins-based products, including Trappsol Cyclo, as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.
“With this research program, we continue to innovate, exploring the use of our cyclodextrin technology platform for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” said N. Scott Fine, CTD’s chairman and CEO.
“I am excited for the opportunity to work with CTD on this potential new therapeutic approach in Alzheimer’s disease,” said Diana Kerwin, an expert in Alzheimer’s and memory disorders who would be the project’s principal investigator.
Any patents resulting from a joint research program, which would be funded by an independent third party, would go to CTD, according to the agreement the companies are discussing.