Money from the NIH is expected to help the firm reach its goal of starting clinical development within a year.

Neurotez won a $2.73 million, three-year NIH SBIR grant to take its leptin hormone replacement therapy into clinical development as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Initial clinical trials will start within a year, according to the company.

“I would like to emphasize the importance of channeling funds to support efforts like those of Neurotez to address this huge unmet medical need,” says Nikolaos Tezapsidis, Ph.D., founder, president, and CEO. “A lot of  innovative approaches in the biopharmaceutical industry originate from small biotech companies like ours. We believe that we have the future therapy for Alzheimer’s disease in our hands.”

Neurotez was established in 2005 to develop leptin both as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and as a preventative measure for people considered to have a high risk for the disease. In 2007 the company received its first grant, totaling $0.7 million from the NIH, and also a grant from the NJ Commission of Science and Technology.

“Leptin treatment has shown striking results in numerous cellular and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease and reduces all of the major pathological hallmarks associated with the disease and as such markedly improves memory,” comments Mark A. Smith, Ph.D., Neurotez CSO and professor of pathology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. 

Neurotez is working with collaborators at Case Western and also Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center to progress the Leptin project. Dr J. Wesson Ashford, M.D., Ph.D., senior research scientist at Stanford/VA Alzheimer Center, will be principal investigator for the first leptin clinical study.

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