|By Marketwired .||
|January 30, 2013 08:08 AM EST||
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/30/13 -- During his distinguished career, Dr. Daniel G. Chain, Ph.D. discovered various novel therapeutics to treat Alzheimer's disease which were licensed to multiple Big Pharma giants.
Dr. Chain trained as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Chain obtained his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the Institute of Biology in London and obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
He currently serves as Chairman of Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. (OTCQB: ILNS), where he has also been Chief Executive Officer since October 2005.
In an exclusive interview with BioMedReports, Chain says that biotech investors should remain undeterred by the challenges currently being faced by those trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease and other age-related cognitive impairments.
BioMedReports: How would you characterize the mood among Alzheimer's researchers after the phase 3 results for Bapineuzumab and Solanezumab?
Dr. Daniel G. Chain, Ph.D.: Obviously, people were very disappointed by the results from the two sets of major Alzheimer's Phase 3 trials, but there were also glimmers of light that renewed hope and even strengthened the prevailing belief that beta amyloid (Aβ) plays a central and causative role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Few now doubt that immunotherapy represents a realistic path forward pending improvements in drug design and the way we conduct clinical trials. Ely Lilly's drug solanezumab showed modest improvement in clinical outcomes when data was pooled from two clinical trials. The drug is to be further tested in a third phase 3 trial by the company and two independent trials conducted by leading academic groups. While bapineuzumab failed to show clinical benefit, the use of biomarkers clearly demonstrated the drug had engaged the target, reduced the amount of plaque and slowed neurodegeneration based upon the decrease in the amount of tau protein measured in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Unfortunately, the drug also caused a significant incidence of vasogenic edema and microhemorrhages, especially in patients that carried the APOE4 gene. A Phase 2 trial is ongoing using a subcutaneous formulation that may avoid these side effects. There is a feeling of optimism among researchers that next generation drugs will have an improved probability of success because of the lessons we have learned from these results and other important recent developments in the field. I experienced this first-hand when I was invited as a Distinguished Speaker to the 6th Annual Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Summit in December and had the opportunity to listen to foremost leaders in the field including academic researchers and industry experts.
Among the themes that have become prevalent is that there is a compelling case for early intervention in the treatment of the disease in which relevant biochemical and neuropathological changes in the brain start many years -- in some case two decades or more -- before symptoms occur! Moreover, the rate of change is far greater before the appearance of symptoms such that the stage we commonly refer to as "Mild," is in fact relatively far advanced, reflecting significant damage to the brain, which is probably beyond repair.
Q: What are the main areas of progress in Alzheimer's research?
Dr. Daniel G. Chain: The development of sensitive brain imaging techniques such as structural MRI to measure brain atrophy, FDG-PET to measure glucose metabolism, and PET amyloid imaging agents represent some of the most important recent advances in the field laying the foundation for studies such as by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer's Network (DIAN) that provided extremely valuable information regarding the sequence of changes preceding and leading to AD. In fact, these studies led to a new way to think about the disease in which presymptomatic AD is just as much a disease state as symptomatic disease.
Q: Describe the main programs at Intellect Neurosciences.
Dr. Daniel G. Chain: Intellect has four main programs underway at the moment: CONJUMAB-A, TAUC3, TOC-1 and RVO3.
We are pioneering the use of antibody-drug conjugates and bi-specific vaccines for the treatment and prevention of multifactorial neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and age-related macular degeneration. Increasingly we hear researchers emphasizing the need to target more than one disease component where, for example, Aβ, tau protein and oxidative stress act in concert and synergistically causing irreversible damage to nerve cells. The use of combination therapies may even allow intervention after symptoms have begun in contrast to monotherapies, targeting only Aβ, for example. However, regulators are averse to the idea of combining two independent investigational drugs before testing each one singly in human clinical trials and demonstrating clinical benefit. That issue is circumvented by the use of antibody drug conjugates in which two different molecules are combined chemically into a single entity as is the case with our CONJUMAB platform.
I am excited about the therapeutic potential of CONJUMAB-A, our lead preclinical program which I believe offers important advantages to other Aβ antibodies currently in clinical development. All the other antibodies e.g. solanezumab, bapineuzumab, gantenerumab and crenzeumab are designed for a single purpose, namely to clear Aβ from the brain. None of these antibodies act on secondary neurotoxic mechanisms such as oxidative stress which causes most of the damage from Aβ. By contrast, CONJUMAB-A, an antibody drug conjugate, is empowered with additional neuroprotective properties to alleviate the damage while also potentially enhancing the clearance of Aβ. In principle our approach could be applied to improve many different types of antibodies including those that previously disappointed in clinical trials. However, we are currently focused on optimizing CONJUMAB-A using our own antibody IN-N01 which targets the N-terminus of Aβ. We believe IN-N01 to be superior to bapineuzumab because of its reduced potential to cause inflammation which results from our reengineering of the originally produced IG1 class antibody into an IgG4 class antibody. We believe this safety feature is particularly important for antibodies that bind Aβ aggregates and not just soluble single monomeric Aβ. Among several potential indications, we have decided to focus on age related macular degeneration (AMD) for proof of concept studies since AMD and AD share several similarities while the eye offers less challenge for delivering the drug.
Over the past two years, Intellect has established its position as a leader in tau immunotherapy using funds from our deal with ViroPharma to support new patent filings by the company, in-license new technologies and initiate an important collaboration with leading Alzheimer's research groups led by Dr. Frank LaFerla and Dr. Kim Green at the University of California, Irvine. Tau immunotherapy is rapidly gaining traction in the Alzheimer's field and has potential applications for many orphan indications as well, such as frontotemporal dementia. However, in contrast to other approaches that have targeted tangles, Intellect is targeting the earliest steps in tau pathology focused on two different pathogenic forms, a truncated form known as delta tau and an aggregated from known as oligomeric tau -- each of which occurs before filaments leading to tangle formation. Over the next several months we expect to generate important in vivo data in relation to the two monoclonal antibodies, TauC3 and TOC-1, that we acquired from Northwestern University under an exclusive license agreement.
Finally, we continue our development of our RECALL-VAX platform focusing on a bi-specific chimeric peptide vaccine approach that targets both Aβ and delta tau in a flu-shot like vaccine approach. Vaccines against multiple antigens have precedent so this is another approach for combination therapies. Disease-modification itself is becoming less attractive as an approach for treating Alzheimer's disease for two main reasons. First, as evidenced by the Phase 3 clinical trials results, patients who are symptomatic probably have disease that is too far advanced to benefit significantly from treatments that slow the degenerative process. Second, treating very early stage or presymptomatic patients will be extremely expensive and prove too costly a burden for healthcare systems. An article by scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, published in the October issue of Current Alzheimer's Research, indicated the economic cost of treatment with a chronically and frequently administered disease-modifying drug would outweigh the cost of palliative care, including full-time nursing care of patients with advanced disease. This economic model leads one to conclude that a vaccination given on an annual or semi-annual basis may be the only economically feasible approach to prevent and manage Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, a vaccine such as RV03 being developed by Intellect Neurosciences offers a promising prophylactic approach that could potentially be administered to tens of millions of people around the world. Although still at an early stage, we are confident about our ability to produce a high value asset.
Q: Do you feel confident regarding Intellect's pipeline?
Dr. Daniel G. Chain: We are very confident in the science behind our pipeline, and are encouraged by the interest shown in our programs by several global pharmaceutical companies some of which have already signed confidentiality agreements. In addition, many independent papers have been published recently that support many of our hypotheses for the development of these assets. Further, we are beginning to see encouraging early stage results that we hope to share soon regarding each of our pipeline programs.
Q: What challenges do you face?
Dr. Daniel G. Chain: The biggest challenge is the funding needed to support our R&D activities and also to grow and maintain our substantial global patent portfolio, which is the heart of Intellect's business model. We need to dispel the skepticism that pervades among many stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry resulting from previous disappointments in the AD field, or at least separate ourselves from it.
One of Intellect's strengths is its diversified portfolio, which provides us "multiple shots on goal." We are extremely cost-efficient as the result of effective outsourcing R&D to highly specialized contract research organizations. Even so, as a small company, maintaining adequate funding to continue all of our programs concurrently is quite challenging. We are currently in talks with potential licensing and co-marketing partners to help maintain the pace of our research, but in this environment, we are facing the same challenges as all other companies of our relative size. We, therefore, have to choose which programs to push forward at any given moment, which often disrupts the momentum of other programs, all based upon the funding we receive and the goals of potential partners who continue nevertheless to show considerable interest and have expressed an eagerness to see validation in preclinical models.
Q: Do you have anything you wish to add?
Dr. Daniel G. Chain: It is imperative that the company and its investors remain undeterred by the challenges currently being faced both by the industry and within Intellect itself. Intellect has continued to grow and develop new strategies to continue on regardless of what the market has done. We wish to communicate to our current and potential investors that significant advances have been made in the Alzheimer's area and express our confidence in our ability to prevail where others have failed. While one set of compounds for which we hold licenses has met with challenges, that is not the entirety of Intellect Neurosciences. Intellect has never relied solely on one program to sustain it, and we have continuously executed on our plans to license our programs, and anticipate being able to do so again as we generate new data and advance our earlier-stage programs through proof of concept.
The full version of this report can be found here:
Healthcare investors and Biotech traders interested in accessing BioMedReports' new complete database of clinical trials and upcoming FDA and world-wide regulatory decisions which can be used to make more profitable trades and see upcoming catalysts can go to: http://biomedreports.com/fdacal.html
News developments and live healthcare sector updates are available constantly via Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BioMedReports
BioMedReports is a news and research portal covering financial biotech news for the entire Healthcare Sector of the market. BioMedReports is not paid or compensated to report the news and developments of publicly traded companies. BioMedReports sells a premium product for subscribers and full disclosures and information about the stocks and news mentioned in this news release are available at BioMedReports.Com
Media Contacts Only:
e-mail: Email Contact
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Apr. 1, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,629
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
Apr. 1, 2015 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 628
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
Apr. 1, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,489
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a “Make or Buy” decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud busi...
Apr. 1, 2015 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,670
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable clou...
Apr. 1, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 803
Businesses are looking to empower employees and departments to do more, go faster, and streamline their processes. For all workers – but mobile workers especially – utilizing the cloud to reconnect documents and improve processes without destructing existing workflows can have a dramatic impact on productivity. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Mark Grilli, vice president of Acrobat Solutions marketing at Adobe Systems Incorporated, will outline new ways that the cloud is changing the way peo...
Apr. 1, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,465
With the arrival of the Big Data revolution, a data professional is expected to master a broad spectrum of complex domains including data processing, mathematics, programming languages, machine learning techniques, and business knowledge. While this mastery is undoubtedly important, this narrow focus on tool usage has divorced many from the imagination required to solve real-world problems. As the demand for analysis increases, the data science community must transform from tool experts to "data...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 858
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the dat...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 648
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of C...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 713
SYS-CON Events announced today that Emcien will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Emcien’s vision is to let anyone use data to know the future. Emcien has built an automated, predictive analysis product that improves the lives of real people. Emcien allows people to automate their data analysis so they can build a better future.
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 875
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,108
WSM International has launched a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of the organization. According to a recent press release from Gartner, "By 2016, DevOps will evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud ...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,481
SYS-CON Events announced today that QTS Realty Trust, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing providers of data center facilities and cloud services and a leader in security and compliance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: QTS) is a leading national provider of data center solutions and fully managed services, and a leader in security and compliance...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,427
SYS-CON Events announced today that WSM International (WSM), the world’s leading cloud and server migration services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. WSM is a solutions integrator with a core focus on cloud and server migration, transformation and DevOps services.
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,467
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
Apr. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,280