In a collaboration aimed at treating concussion and blunt head trauma, QR Pharma and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have received a $3 million U.S. Army grant to study Posiphen® in two models of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
According to QR, Posiphen, a small orally active compound with high blood brain barrier permeability, has been shown in cell cultures and in a number of mice models to reduce and normalize the synthesis of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP) and Aβ, tau and phospho-tau as well as alpha-synuclein. Lowering the levels of these neurotoxic proteins reduces inflammatory factors since they are the cause of inflammation in the brain, the company said.
Collaborators Marie-Francoise Chesselet, Ph.D., and David Hovda, Ph.D., at UCLA have experience using TBI injury models to study brain trauma. Their models produce cognitive impairment, as assessed in the Morris Water Maze, and increase expression of tau, p-tau, APP, Aβ and alpha-synuclein in the brain.
Last year, Posiphen was tested in a model of cognitive impairment in transgenic Alzheimer mice to determine if the inhibition of the toxic proteins Ab42 and phospho-Tau reverted the cognitive decline and restored normal learning and memory function. After chronic treatment, Posiphen was found to have totally restored cognitive function as measured in two paradigms of memory and learning and totally restored long-term potentiation as measured by electrophysiology. The levels of APP/Ab42 and Tau/phospho-Tau also returned to normal.