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Statin drugs offer hope for meeting the challenge of Alzheimer's disease

MAYWOOD, N.J., September 29, 2003 -- Prevention of Alzheimer's disease represents society's best hope against the impending public health care crisis posed by this tragic illness, according to Dr. Michael Munzar, Medical Director of Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation. And statin drugs may hold potential to help meet this challenge.

A recent study (Arch Neurol Aug 2003, 60:1119-1122) estimated that by 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with Alzheimer's disease will increase almost 3-fold from 4.5 million to 13.2 million. The authors highlighted the need for new discoveries to help prevent Alzheimer's disease to meet this public health challenge.

Recent studies of statin drugs have shown that they offer hope of reducing the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to Dr. Munzar. Nymox holds U.S. and global patent rights for the use of statin drugs for the prevention and treatment of AD.

Two seminal published studies found that patients prescribed statins for other indications had a substantially lower risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease (Wolozin et al., Arch Neurol 2000; 57:1439-43; Jick et al., Lancet 2000; 356:1627-31). More recent studies have reached similar conclusions.

Research is ongoing into the relationship between cholesterol and Alzheimer's disease and into clinical trials into the use of statin drugs in Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Larry Sparks, a leading researcher into the role of elevated cholesterol in Alzheimer's disease, recently presented the results of his team's extensive studies supporting the potential value of statins in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease at the recent Fourth Manhattan Alzheimer's Disease Conference, sponsored by Nymox.

Nymox's research and development programs concentrate on novel approaches to therapeutics and diagnostics with a specific focus on the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. AlzheimAlert is a urine test designed to aid physicians in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, through Nymox's Clinical Reference Laboratory in Maywood, NJ at a cost of $295. Nymox has several major proprietary drug development programs with candidate drugs for Alzheimer's disease. One major drug discovery platform targets neural thread protein, the brain protein detected by the AlzheimAlert test and implicated in the Alzheimer's disease process. Another targets spherons, tiny balls of densely packed protein found scattered in human brain cells from an early age.

Source: Nymox

Posted: September 2003