Oligomerix, Inc. presented results at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C. which demonstrated that tau protein forms neurotoxic oligomers with a newly discovered enzymatic function. This proteolytic function results in tau’s self-fragmentation and in the degradation of other proteins suggesting a mechanism for its neurotoxic mode-of-action. Furthermore, certain tau oligomer species that contained the highest level of activity also proved to be the most toxic to cultured neurons. Tau’s enzymatic activity may play a key role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) progression and therefore may represent an important therapeutic intervention point.
James Moe, President and CEO of Oligomerix, Inc., stated, “Recent advances in the field indicate that tau oligomers are involved in Alzheimer’s disease progression and inhibit memory formation. Inhibiting the tau oligomer protease may be an effective intervention for not only improving cognitive function, but also for interrupting disease progression.”
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 5.4 million AD sufferers in the US alone that require 14.9 million unpaid caregivers and costs the US economy approximately $183 billion every year. There are no FDA approved therapeutics that alter the course of disease or slow its progression. Tau protease pathology may represent a new target for slowing or arresting disease progression.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Source: Oligomerix, Inc.
Article Date: 19 Nov 2011 – 2:00 PST