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New compounds effective against Alzheimer's disease onset and progression

CHICAGO --- Drug discovery researchers at Northwestern University have developed a new class of compounds that have the potential to reduce the inflammation of brain cells and the neuron loss associated with Alzheimer's disease.

The new class of compounds are aminopyridazines. The original compound, called MW01-070C, is used in an injectable form. More recently developed compounds, such as MW01-2-151WH and MW01-5-188WH, can be taken by mouth.

The compounds were designed and synthesized in the laboratory of D. Martin Watterson, J. G. Searle Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, using a synthetic chemistry platform developed by the Northwestern Drug Discovery Program for the rapid discovery of new potential therapeutic targets.

The aminopyridazines are targeted for the potential treatment of certain neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by neuroinflammation and neuronal loss, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke and traumatic brain injury. The compounds inhibit over-activation of glia, important cells of the central nervous system that normally help the body mount a response to injury or developmental change but are overactivated in certain neurodegenerative diseases.

The efficacy and safety of the compounds in an Alzheimer's disease animal model was evaluated in collaboration with Linda J. Van Eldik, professor of cell and molecular biology at Feinberg.

The scientists described their Alzheimer's disease drug discovery efforts in recent issues of the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience and the journal Neurobiology of Aging, and a publication that will appear in early 2005 in the journal Current Alzheimer Research. The studies have important implications for future drug development because they provide a proof of concept that targeting neuroinflammation with aminopyridazi
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Contact: Elizabeth Crown
e-crown@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
8-Nov-2004


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