Patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and their carers living in Perth, are wanted for a clinical trial of a novel drug treatment that targets memory decline.

ATH-1017 developed by Athira Pharma represents a new approach to treat Alzheimer’s disease, potentially targeting the root cause of memory decline by repairing brain cells and rebuilding brain networks.

The drug treatment is designed to boost a repair and regenerative pathway for brain cells, promoting brain health and function.

The Phase 2/3 clinical trial to be offered at 12 sites in the US and Australia is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that will test the safety and efficacy of the drug.

Alzheimer’s Dementia is the most common form of dementia in Australia. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that impairs memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out day to day tasks.

Most drugs being investigated to treat Alzheimer’s target beta-amyloid plaques thought to be responsible for dementia in brain cells. Athira’s ATH-1017 works differently.

Brain cells rely on several factors to maintain good health. One of those factors is Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) which is active in healthy brains but has been demonstrated to be depleted in those living with Alzheimer’s dementia.

ATH-1017 involves a molecule that binds to the receptors in the brain, mimicking HGF and enhancing brain cell activity.

Althira’s completed Phase 1a/b trials found the drug had been generally well tolerated at all tested doses. Working memory processing speed and other specific brain functions were found to have improved compared to those receiving a placebo.

According to information released by Athira, data from previous trials indicate potentially positive effects on biomarkers for brain function in Alzheimer’s patients.

The company seeks to confirm these effects in a larger ATH-1017 study as there is significant unmet need for new Alzheimer’s treatments.

While this Phase 2/3 clinical trial is focused on Alzheimer’s disease patients, ATH-1017 may have potential to benefit others in the broader dementia population, though this has yet to be tested.

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