Strong Marriages Enhance Functioning For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition, but a study reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society, shows that being in a strong, non-distressed marriage is associated with experiencing less pain and enjoying better functioning and quality of life.

Researchers conducting a multicenter study involving 255 patients examined the relationships of martial status and marital adjustment to pain and physical disability in RA patients. The key objective was to examine differences in health status of RA patients who are in strong marriages, distressed marriages or are unmarried. The authors hypothesized that marital adjustment would be associated with better health status.

Marital adjustment was measured by the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Scale, disease activity was assessed by rheumatologists performing a full 32 joint examination for tenderness and swelling, pain was measured using the McGill Pain Questionnaire, and physical and psychological disability was evaluated by Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales.

The researchers reported that among married subjects, better martial adjustment was associated with less psychological disability and marginally less pain. The findings strongly suggest that being married may have benefits for health status, provided the marriage is well adjusted or, at least, not distressed. A key implication of the study is that using marital status as an indicator of social support for RA patients might not be inadequate, and clinicians must consider the level of adjustment or distress in the relationship when determining the degree and benefit of social support from the spouse.

Source:

American Pain Society

ACTEMRA(TM) (tocilizumab) Significantly Improves Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Compared To A Current Standard Of Care

Results of the OPTION
(TOcilizumab Pivotal Trial in Methotrexate Inadequate respONders) trial,
the first multinational Phase III study outside of Japan, showed that
patients treated with ACTEMRA(TM) (either 4mg/kg or 8mg/kg) plus
methotrexate achieved a significant and clinically important improvement in
the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
compared to patients treated with placebo and methotrexate, a current
standard of care. The data were presented today at the European Congress of
Rheumatology (ECR) held by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)
in Barcelona, Spain.

In the 623-patient study, 58.5% of patients receiving the combination
of ACTEMRA(TM) (8mg/kg) and methotrexate achieved at least a 20%
improvement (ACR20) in RA symptoms compared with 26.5% of patients
receiving placebo plus methotrexate after 24 weeks. The data also showed
that 79.5% of patients in the ACTEMRA(TM) (8mg/kg) plus methotrexate group
responded with moderate to good improvements in RA symptoms (EULAR
response) compared to 34.8% for those treated with placebo and methotrexate
at 24 weeks. ACTEMRA(TM) was generally well tolerated; the most common
adverse events reported more frequently in the ACTEMRA(TM) arms of the
OPTION trial were upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis and
headache.

Other parameters measured in the study included C-reactive protein
(CRP), a marker of inflammation, fatigue and hemoglobin. Patients in the
ACTEMRA(TM) 8 mg/kg group showed a rapid lowering of CRP levels within two
weeks, while fatigue scores showed that patients in the ACTEMRA(TM) group
experienced a reduction in fatigue and a rapid improvement in hemoglobin
levels. Low levels of hemoglobin are usually associated with anemia
(reduction in red blood cells) that can result in tiredness and fatigue.

“There is a critical need for new therapies to treat moderate to severe
RA patients, and these results suggest that IL-6 inhibition is an
encouraging anti-inflammatory mechanism for reducing disease symptoms,”
said Mark C. Genovese, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford
University School of Medicine.

ACTEMRA(TM) is the first humanized interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor-
inhibiting monoclonal antibody and represents a novel mechanism of action
for the treatment for RA. Studies suggest that reducing the activity of
IL-6, one of several key cytokines involved in the inflammatory process,
may reduce inflammation of the joints, prevent long-term damage and relieve
certain systemic effects of RA such as decreased hemoglobin, fatigue and
osteoporosis.

“These study results underscore the potential for ACTEMRA(TM) to become
a new treatment option for RA,” said Lars Birgerson, M.D., Ph.D., Vice
President, Global Head Medical Affairs, Roche. “We are hopeful that the
ongoing Phase III trials will translate into improved clinical outcomes for
patients.”

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive, systemic autoimmune disease
characterized by inflammation of the membrane lining in joints. This
inflammation causes a loss of joint shape and function, resulting in pain,
stiffness and swelling, ultimately leading to irreversible joint
destruction and disability. RA affects more than 21 million people
worldwide with approximately 2.5 million people affected in the United
States. RA may also shorten life expectancy by affecting major organ
systems and after 10 years, less than 50% of patients can continue to work
or function normally on a day- to-day basis.

About the Study

The OPTION trial is a three-arm, randomized, double-blind, controlled
Phase III study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ACTEMRA(TM)
plus methotrexate compared to placebo plus methotrexate in patients with
moderate to severe RA who had an inadequate response to methotrexate alone.
Patients received ACTEMRA(TM) intravenously (either 4mg/kg or 8mg/kg) every
4 weeks plus methotrexate weekly, or placebo infusions plus methotrexate
weekly, for 24 weeks. The study enrolled patients at 73 trial sites in 17
countries outside the United States, and is one of five Phase III trials
designed to study ACTEMRA(TM) as a potential new treatment for RA.

Data from the study were analyzed to determine patients’ response to
treatment by using three standard assessments: ACR score(1), developed by
the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), DAS28(2), a measurement of RA
disease activity, and EULAR(3), a measurement of treatment response.

In the study, 43.9% of patients treated with ACTEMRA(TM) (8mg/kg) plus
methotrexate achieved at least a 50% (ACR50) reduction in symptoms compared
to 10.8% of patients receiving placebo and methotrexate; ACR70 was achieved
in 22% of the treatment group versus 2% in the control group. At 24 weeks,
disease remission, as measured by DAS28 (

Childhood Injuries: Serious Disparities Between Affluent And Deprived

In poorer areas of England, the serious injury rates in child
pedestrians are four times that of children in affluent areas,
according to research released on April 1, 2008 in the BMJ specialist
journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The researchers analyzed hospital admission rates for children 15 years
old and younger between the years of 1999 and 2004. During this period,
approximately 664,000 children were admitted to the hospital, and of
these almost 8,000 came in with serious injuries. These were classified
into one of the following groups: neck and thigh fractures, multiple
rib fractures, head injuries, neural and spinal cord injuries,
suffocation, or hypothermia.

They found that, while falls were responsible for more than 33% of all
admissions, they accounted for more than 40% of all serious injuries.
Children in more deprived areas of the country had four times the
likelihood to be injured as pedestrians than children living in the
most affluent areas of the country. Additionally, cyclists, car
passengers, and children who survived a fall were twice as likely to be
seriously injured if they were from poorer areas than their affluent
counterparts.

In general, the rates of serious injury for child pedestrians were
higher in cities than in towns and villages, but this trend showed
significant variation. For instance, the serious injury sustained by
child bicyclists was 22% lower in London than it was in other cities.
Children in cars were 50% more likely to sustain serious injuries in
villages than in cities. Compared to most major urban areas, the
serious injuries related to falls were much higher in London, by 60%,
and 20% lower in villages. 

According to the authors, the deaths related to childhood injuries have
fallen over the past 20 years. While they began at 11 for every 100,000
children, it has dropped to 4 in 100,000. However, the inequalities
between rich and poor children remain.

Serious injuries in children: variation by area deprivation
and
settlement type
P Edwards, J Green, K Lachowycz, C Grundy, I Roberts
Online First Arch Dis Child 2008;
doi
10.1136./adc.2007.116541
Click
Here For Abstract

Anna Sophia McKenney

UK Scientists Move Closer To Discovering Cause Of Alzheimer’s

UK scientists have taken another step forward in their search to identify the causes of Alzheimer’s.

Important research which sheds new light on one of the key building blocks of the disease was presented at an Alzheimer’s Society research roadshow in Southampton last Thursday.

Dr Amritpal Mudher from Southampton University was speaking about her findings on the protein tau, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Healthy nerve cells produce tau but in Alzheimer’s an abnormal form of tau is produced which does not function correctly. Dr Mudher has found that the abnormal tau does not only disrupt nerve cells, forming tangles that cause them to die, but it also affects any healthy tau around it. This prevents the cell from performing its normal functions.

Dr Susanne Sorensen, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, says:

‘Dr Mudher’s findings provide important information about how a key protein is involved in Alzheimer’s. It is particularly interesting to see this additional activity of abnormal tau as it helps to explain the effect tau has on nerve cells and why the cells die. The more we understand about how tau works the closer we get to a potential treatment.’

The audience, which included carers and people with dementia, also got the opportunity to learn about how Alzheimer’s Society funds research, and how they can get involved in the charity’s research programme.

Dr Sorensen continues,

‘One of the aims of the event was to recruit new members to our Research Network, a group of carers, ex-carers and people with dementia who play a role in deciding what research we fund. We now need more people to get involved to ensure the Society’s research projects meet the needs and concerns of people with dementia and their carers. Please get in touch if you would like to help.’

Lynne Ramsay is a volunteer in the Research Network and former carer. She says,

‘I think it is vital that carers take part in the research network. Being a carer can be isolating so it helps to be able to learn about the research process, become involved from home or at the locations and be able to influence in some small part. People affected by dementia bring a new fresh approach to the process which is a real benefit to the research team.’

The event took place at St Mark’s Church, Archers Road, Southampton.

Note

There are 2555 people with dementia in Southampton

Source:

Alzheimer’s Society

Risk Factors For Dementia

The “Mediterranean diet” may reduce the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers in New York examined over 2000 subjects, interviewing them about dietary habits and testing their cognitive ability over time. Those who ate a Mediterranean diet–high in vegetables, grain, and unsaturated fats, and low in meat and dairy–were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Obesity in midlife may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers in California. Health records from 1964 and the present were examined for almost 9,000 middle-aged individuals, correlating past obesity to the risk for a current diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals in the top 20 percent of obesity measures in 1964 were two to three times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those in the bottom 20 percent. Cognitive decline is also increased with lower blood levels of the hormone leptin, which affects both appetite and brain development. In a study of almost 3,000 healthy elderly followed over five years, those with the lowest leptin levels had a greater decline in their cognitive ability than those with the highest levels.

Sex hormones may also play a role in the risk for cognitive decline. In a study of almost 800 men and women, those women with the lowest levels of estradiol (a type of estrogen) declined fastest, compared to those women with the highest levels. This correlation was seen in both black and white women. No effect of estradiol was seen in men, and no effect was seen for the hormone testosterone in either sex.

American Academy of Neurology 58th Annual Meeting

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 19,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, and stroke.

Contact: Robin Stinnett
rstinnettaan
American Academy of Neurology

View drug information on Estradiol Transdermal System.

Millennium Initiates Phase II Trial To Evaluate MLN3897 In Rheumatoid Arthritis

Millennium
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLNM) today announced the initiation of a
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II study of MLN3897 in
patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). MLN3897, an oral, small molecule
designed to block CCR1, is a chemokine receptor believed to play a role in
a number of inflammatory disorders including RA. MLN3897 is part of the
Company’s broad inflammation program that includes several product
candidates.

“Although many patients with RA initially respond to standard
disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs such as methotrexate or anti-tumor
necrosis factor drugs to some degree, up to 70 percent ultimately have an
inadequate response,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Senior Vice President,
Clinical, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Millennium. “Our hope for MLN3897
is to provide patients with a new and innovative therapy for treating this
debilitating disease.”

The multicenter study will assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability
of MLN3897 in combination with methotrexate (MTX), a standard therapy for
RA. Up to 186 patients with RA will be enrolled in the study and must have
been taking MTX for a minimum of six months prior to screening. Patients
will continue the MTX regimen and will be randomized to receive MLN3897 or
placebo. The primary endpoint of the study is ACR20 response rate, a
standard clinical measurement for RA, which measures improvement in the
number of tender and swollen joints and various levels of disease activity.

About MLN3897

MLN3897 is part of Millennium’s larger inflammatory development program
that includes six product candidates and is one of several small molecules
included in the Company’s small molecule inflammation collaboration with
sanofi-aventis. MLN3897 (sanofi-aventis AVE9897) is an orally active, small
molecule antagonist of CCR1, a chemokine receptor found on the surface of
various cells in the immune system and involved in a number of inflammatory
disorders. In the Phase I studies, results showed MLN3897 to be
well-tolerated and to exhibit dose dependent blockage of the CCR1 receptor.
Since CCR1 is involved in the recruitment of white blood cells in response
to sites of inflammation, effectively blocking CCR1 could have a
significant effect on RA disease progression and other inflammatory
diseases.

About Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory disease of the articular
joints that results in significant pain, stiffness and swelling and leads
to degradation of the joint tissue. RA can cause permanent damage and
deformities to joints, resulting in loss of function and ultimately leading
to joint replacement surgery in some cases. In addition, some RA patients
develop extra-articular manifestations such as rheumatoid nodules,
interstitial lung disease and vasculitis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, RA affects 2.1 million Americans
and is about three times more common in women than men. Mortality rates for
people with RA are double those of the general population. The cause of RA
is not known, however, it is believed to be an autoimmune disease where the
body’s natural immune system attacks healthy joint tissue causing
inflammation and subsequent joint damage.

About the Millennium/sanofi-aventis Collaboration

Millennium and sanofi-aventis have an alliance focused on developing
and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of inflammatory
diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. MLN3897
(sanofi-aventis AVE9897) is one of several small molecules that are part of
this collaboration, three of which are in the clinic.

About Millennium

Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company
based in Cambridge, Mass., markets VELCADE(R) (bortezomib) for Injection, a
novel cancer product, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of
product candidates. The Company’s research, development and
commercialization activities are focused in two therapeutic areas: oncology
and inflammation. By applying its knowledge of the human genome,
understanding of disease mechanisms and industrialized drug discovery
platform, Millennium is developing an exciting pipeline of innovative
product candidates. The Company’s website is millennium.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” including
statements about the Company’s growth and development of products. Various
important risks may cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially
from the results indicated by these forward-looking statements, including:
adverse results in its drug discovery and clinical development programs;
failure to obtain patent protection for its discoveries; commercial
limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; the
Company’s dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and
commercialize products and services based on its work; difficulties or
delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services
resulting from its development efforts; product withdrawals; competitive
factors; difficulties or delays in manufacturing the Company’s products;
government and third- party reimbursement rates; the commercial success of
VELCADE and INTEGRILIN(R) (eptifibatide) Injection; achieving revenue
consistent with internal forecasts; and the requirement for substantial
funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization
activities. For a further list and description of the risks and
uncertainties the Company faces, see the reports it has filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any intention or
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
millennium

View drug information on Velcade.

Life USA, Inc.’s Enhanced Metabolics Introduces New Product For Joint Health

Life USA, Inc. (OTC
Bulletin Board: LFUI), a distributor of natural products based in Boulder,
Colorado. Today announced the introduction of AgilFlex(TM) Joint Health
Formula under the company’s Enhanced Metabolics brand. This combination of
two proprietary, clinically backed ingredients features the antioxidant
power of NKO(TM) (Neptune Krill Oil) from Neptune Technologies &
Bioressources Inc. of Laval, Quebec, Canada, a current Enhanced Metabolics
product offering, and the joint mobility complex SierraSil (registered
trademark) of Sierra Mountain Minerals of Vancouver, Canada.

AgilFlex, a unique blend of ingredients from a high altitude mountain
range and a remote ocean, is a fast-acting, safe, 100% natural formula that
promotes joint mobility and an active lifestyle. NKO(TM), a primary
ingredient in AgilFlex, is a sustainable harvested, Antarctic Ocean-derived
organism that is mercury-free, rich in Omega 3′s, and high in antioxidants
and phospholipids. SierraSil, the other primary ingredient, is derived from
a distinct, naturally-occurring mineral composite (found only in the high
Sierra Mountains of Canada) that promotes joint mobility, flexibility, a
healthy response to inflammation, and protects cartilage from breakdown.

“We are very excited to be able to offer these two special ingredients
as one unique formula,” said Michael Schuett, Life USA President, “The
ingredients in AgilFlex have demonstrated tremendous results with regard to
promoting joint health, an issue everyone has to face regardless of their
level of activity.” He added, “This formula is all about improving quality
of life.”

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking information. Statements
that are not descriptions of historical facts are forward-looking
statements provided under the “safe harbor” protection of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made to
enable a better understanding of our business, but because these
forward-looking statements are subject to many risks, uncertainties, future
developments and changes over time, actual results may differ materially
from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Examples of forward-looking statements are statements about anticipated
financial or operating results, financial projections, business prospects,
future product performance and other matters that are not historical facts.
Such statements often include words such as “believes,” “expects,”
“anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates” or similar expressions.

These forward-looking statements are based on the information that was
currently available to us, and the expectations and assumptions that were
deemed reasonable by us, at the time the statements were made. We do not
undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements in this
report or in any of our other communications, except as required by law,
and all such forward-looking statements should be read as of the time the
statements were made, and with the recognition that these forward-looking
statements may not be complete or accurate at a later date.

Life USA, Inc.
EnhancedMetabolics

Minister For Health Dawn Primarolo To Give Evidence To Lords Science Committee On Risks Of Flu Pandemic, UK

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, which in December
2005 published a report on the risks of pandemic influenza, will next
week hold a follow-up evidence session with Dawn Primarolo MP, Minister
of State for Public Health.

The Committee’s original report took the view that the first line of
defence against a potential human influenza pandemic was effective
surveillance and control of avian influenza, in particular in south east
Asia. The Committee recommended more support for generic health services
in Asia, where new strains of flu have emerged in recent years, and for
Government departments to work together to produce a contingency plan in
case of an outbreak of a strain of avian-flu that would easily transfer
to human beings.

In this follow up session, to be held on Tuesday 25 November the
Committee will ask Ms Primarolo about the UK’s preparedness for flu
pandemic, whether the NHS is adequately resourced and prepared for a flu
outbreak, and for the Government’s views on how essential public
services would cope with a large-scale loss of staff due to illness
caused by pandemic influenza.

Notes

1. For more details on the Committee, including a downloadable
version of their original report please see: parliament/hlscience

2. An audio stream of the evidence session will be
broadcast live at: parliamentlive

Source
Owen Williams,
Head of Press and Media
House of Lords,
London,
SW1A 0PW
parliament

Memory Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive Phase 2a Results For MEM 3454 In Alzheimer’s Disease

Memory Pharmaceuticals
Corp. (Nasdaq: MEMY) announced positive top-line data from the
randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center Phase 2a proof-of-concept
trial of MEM 3454, the Company’s lead nicotinic alpha-7 receptor partial
agonist, in 80 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease over an
eight week treatment period. The trial was an exploratory efficacy study to
learn about MEM 3454 as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The
primary endpoint of the trial was the change from baseline in the Quality
of Episodic Secondary Memory (QESM) factor score of the Cognitive Drug
Research (CDR) battery. QESM is a composite score derived from memory tests
in the CDR battery that measure the ability to store, hold and retrieve
information. There were three oral daily doses of MEM 3454 tested in the
trial, 5 mg, 15 mg and 50 mg. The CDR battery was administered at baseline
and on six days during the treatment period, at four time points
(pre-dosing and 2, 4 and 8 hours post-dosing) each day. For the eight hour
post-dose time points over the treatment period, subjects receiving 5 mg
and 15 mg of MEM 3454 demonstrated a statistically significant effect on
the QESM compared to placebo (p=0.023 and p=0.050, respectively).

Secondary endpoints in the trial included other composite scores from
the CDR battery that measure working memory, attention and executive
function, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale — cognitive
subscale (ADAS-Cog). On secondary CDR battery measures, using all time
points combined over the treatment period, the trial showed that the 5 mg
and 15 mg doses achieved statistically significant positive results on
Quality of Working Memory (p=0.031 and p=0.047). The 15 mg group also
demonstrated trends to efficacy on Speed of Memory (p=0.080). Quality of
Working Memory is a composite score derived from accuracy measures in the
CDR battery that reflect how well subjects can hold information in working
memory. The Speed of Memory composite score reflects the time it takes to
recall an item from memory. For the ADAS-cog, the 15 mg group showed
numeric improvements favoring treatment over placebo. There were two
additional secondary endpoints in the study from the CDR battery, Power of
Attention and Continuity of Attention, and on these measures the study
found no statistically significant differences between treatment and
placebo. The 50 mg group also showed no statistically significant
differences favoring treatment at any endpoint in the study.

In analyses of QESM at certain other time points, and for all time
points combined, the placebo group performed statistically significantly
better than the treatment groups due to substantially lower QESM scores at
baseline for the placebo group, at the 2 and 4-hour time points, as
compared to the treatment groups. After adding a covariate for baseline
scores to the statistical model, the MEM 3454 5 mg group demonstrated a
statistically significant change from baseline on QESM at all time points
combined compared to placebo (p=0.032). The MEM 3454 5 mg and 15 mg dose
groups demonstrated statistical significance (p=0.003 and p=0.023,
respectively), and the 50 mg dose group demonstrated a trend favoring
treatment (p=0.083) for the eight hour post-dose time points on QESM. In
addition, the 5 mg and 15 mg dose groups demonstrated a statistically
significant effect on Quality of Working Memory, over all time points
combined (p=0.006 and p=0.004, respectively). The 5 mg dose group also
demonstrated a statistically significant effect on Speed of Memory
(p

“Overall, the data from this study demonstrate that MEM 3454 is
providing cognitive benefit and these results are consistent with our
previous work with this compound in volunteers. When an appropriate
baseline covariate is included, the results of this trial are even more
robust,” stated Keith Wesnes, Ph.D., the developer of the CDR battery. “It
is exciting to improve the ability of Alzheimer’s patients to store and
retrieve information from both working and episodic memory, not only in
terms of accuracy but also speed. These improvements have clinical
relevance.”

“We believe these trial results provide evidence of MEM 3454′s
potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease,” stated Stephen R. Murray, M.D.,
Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Memory Pharmaceuticals. “This data is
consistent with our preclinical and Phase 1 results and reinforces our
belief that MEM 3454 warrants continued development. We look forward to
commencing our Phase 2a trial of MEM 3454 in cognitive impairment
associated with schizophrenia in the near term.”

MEM 3454 was well-tolerated in this trial, with the exception that the
number of subjects with constipation was higher in the treatment groups
(43%) compared to placebo (5%). There was one treatment-emergent serious
adverse event in the 15 mg group, which was deemed not to be
treatment-related by the investigator.

Study Design

The Phase 2a trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
study designed to assess the safety, tolerability and cognitive effects of
three doses of MEM 3454. The trial enrolled 80 subjects with mild to
moderate Alzheimer’s disease at five sites in the United States. Subjects
in the study were randomized at enrollment to receive 5 mg, 15 mg or 50 mg
of MEM 3454 or placebo once daily for a period of eight weeks. The primary
objective of the trial was to assess the effect of MEM 3454 using the QESM
factor score from the CDR battery. Secondary objectives included assessing
the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of MEM 3454 and the drug
candidate’s effect on additional psychometric test items from the CDR
battery and the ADAS-cog.

Strategic Alliance with Roche for Nicotinic Alpha-7 Receptor Agonists

MEM 3454 is the lead drug candidate being developed by Memory
Pharmaceuticals in connection with its nicotinic alpha-7 receptor agonist
Strategic Alliance Agreement with Roche. Under the terms of this agreement,
Roche has an option to secure a worldwide, exclusive license to develop and
commercialize MEM 3454 upon the fulfillment of certain predefined events,
including among other things the completion of this trial. Roche is
obligated to make a milestone payment to Memory Pharmaceuticals at the time
this option is exercised. In June 2007, Memory Pharmaceuticals expanded its
nicotinic alpha-7 receptor agonist agreement with Roche to support a Phase
2a trial of MEM 3454 in cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia.
The expanded agreement provides that Roche would have to make an additional
milestone payment upon completion of the Phase 2a CIAS trial in order to
maintain its license to MEM 3454.

Under this agreement, Memory Pharmaceuticals and Roche actively
collaborate on the discovery and clinical development of additional
nicotinic alpha-7 agonists. Memory Pharmaceuticals is responsible for
conducting Phase 1 clinical trials for compounds that emerge from the
collaboration, and Roche is responsible for later-stage development and
commercialization. Memory Pharmaceuticals is currently conducting a Phase 1
program for R4996/MEM 63908, the second named drug candidate under this
agreement.

About MEM 3454

MEM 3454 is a partial agonist of the nicotinic alpha-7 receptor, a
highly specialized receptor found in the CNS. Compounds acting on this
receptor could be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and
schizophrenia, as well as other psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Memory Pharmaceuticals is developing MEM 3454 as potential therapy for
Alzheimer’s disease and for cognitive impairment associated with
schizophrenia.

About the Company

Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp., a biopharmaceutical company, is focused
on developing innovative drugs for the treatment of debilitating CNS
disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and
bipolar disorder. For additional information, please visit our website at
memorypharma.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are
subject to risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements
of historical facts, regarding management’s expectations, beliefs, goals,
plans or Memory Pharmaceuticals’ prospects, future financial position,
future revenues and projected costs should be considered forward-looking.
Readers are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from
projections or estimates due to a variety of important factors, including
the outcome of clinical trials of Memory Pharmaceuticals’ drug candidates
and whether they demonstrate these candidates’ safety and effectiveness;
the risks and uncertainties associated with: obtaining additional financing
to support Memory Pharmaceuticals’ R&D and clinical activities and
operations; obtaining regulatory approvals to conduct clinical trials and
to commercialize Memory Pharmaceuticals’ drug candidates; Memory
Pharmaceuticals’ ability to enter into and maintain collaborations with
third parties for its drug development programs; Memory Pharmaceuticals ‘
dependence on its collaborations and its license relationships; achieving
milestones under Memory Pharmaceuticals’ collaborations; Memory
Pharmaceuticals’ dependence on preclinical and clinical investigators,
preclinical and clinical research organizations, manufacturers and
consultants; and protecting the intellectual property developed by or
licensed to Memory Pharmaceuticals. These and other risks are described in
greater detail in Memory Pharmaceuticals’ filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. Memory Pharmaceuticals may not actually achieve the
goals or plans described in its forward-looking statements, and investors
should not place undue reliance on these statements. Memory Pharmaceuticals
disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements
as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release.

Memory Pharmaceuticals Corp.
memorypharma

The Search For Brain’s Defenses To Ward Off Infections, Prevent Memory Loss

Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine will look for evidence within the brain for human beta defensin peptide function – proteins important to the peripheral body’s natural defense system against infection from the outside environment.

They will examine brain tissues to explore the possibility that the beta defensins contribute to degenerative brain diseases and in particular Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“Chronic inflammation within the aging human brain and in the brains of individuals suffering from a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, is now recognized as a major contributor to neuronal cell death and subsequent decline in cognitive function,” said Wesley M. Williams, a neurobiologist and researcher in the Department of Biological Science at the dental school.

Williams and Mark A. Smith, a professor from the Department of Pathology at the medical school, are co-investigators for the University Center on Aging and Health-funded pilot study, “Beta defensin antimicrobial peptides – compromised immunomodulators of inflammation within the aging and Alzheimer’s brain.” Sandy Richardson and Sandi Siedlak, both research assistants, are also engaged on the project.

Williams became interested in beta defensins through studies with gingival epithelial cells in the mouth and his work on diabetes, a risk factor for AD.

Preliminary findings by the researchers suggest that beta defensins may be adversely affected by AD, thus contributing to chronic inflammation that can lead to neuronal cell death.

While the blood-brain barrier generally blocks harmful pathogens from reaching brain tissue, Williams said not all parts of the brain have this protection.

Those pathogens reaching the brain can produce an inflammatory response, which is known to have a role in brain cell death.

Beyond AD, neuronal cell death is a part of the degenerative process in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and in normal aging and contributes to cognitive memory loss among combat veterans and accident victims who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

The big question is what role, if any, do beta defensins play in the development of chronic inflammatory response in the brain, Williams said.

“We don’t know what we will find. This study is thinking outside the box for something that has not been studied previously,” said Williams.

The researchers received a $20,000 launch grant to pilot a study to gather evidence that they hope leads to further research projects. They will investigate if beta defensins influence the immune response by the brains resident immune cells, the astrocytes and microglia. This project focuses on the most commonly found defensins, HBD1 and HBD2, both prevalent in the mouth and skin, and whether they are found in two types of brain cells.

Beta defensins are found in the skin and in lung, kidney, intestines, mouth, stomach, and vagina. Whenever a wound occurs in these areas, the beta defensins kick in to fight off infection.

Some 20-beta defensins are known to exist in humans, other mammals and plants.

The researchers will work with brain tissue generously donated by individuals with and without AD.

This study is among a number of funded projects by the University Center on Aging and Health supported by the President’s Strategic Initiatives Fund and McGregor Foundation, located in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and under the direction of Diana Morris, that encourage interdisciplinary research projects among campus researchers.

Source:
Susan Griffith

Case Western Reserve University