Privately-held company Neurim Pharmaceuticals has reported the completion of an initial efficacy trial examining the effect of its drug Circadin, currently sold for treatment of sleep disorders, for treating Alzheimer’s disease, in conjunction with existing treatments for the disease.
Circadin is a drug based on delayed release of melatonin. Melatonin occurs naturally in the human body and controls the biological sleep and waking clock. Melatonin levels are low in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and poor sleep is known to exacerbate the condition, and so it was decided to investigate whether the drug could help Alzheimer’s patients.
80 patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease participated in the trial. Half were treated with Circadin in addition to their regular treatment, and, among these, Alzheimer’s symptoms were found to a significantly lesser extent than in the control group of patients who received their regular treatment only. The significant effect was found only in some of the measures of the disease.
Neurim Pharmaceuticals was founded by Prof. Nava Zisapel, who is currently CTO of the company. The main investors are Nava and Yehuda Zisapel, who brought it as a private company to the stage of marketing approval in Europe for its sleep product. The company signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Danish company Lundbeck, but this agreement failed to yield the hoped-for results, and today the company sells its product through a variety of distributors.
The company’s sleep disorders treatment is sold in 40 countries, including Israel and most countries in Europe.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on June 23, 2014