|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
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
May. 1, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 714
See storage differently! Storage performance problems have only gotten worse and harder to solve as applications have become largely virtualized and moved to a cloud-based infrastructure. Storage performance in a virtualized environment is not just about IOPS, it is about how well that potential performance is guaranteed to individual VMs for these apps as the number of VMs keep going up real time. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, in product and marketing at Tintri, will discu...
May. 1, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 801
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
May. 1, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,126
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
May. 1, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 988
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
May. 1, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,462
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
May. 1, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 899
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
May. 1, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,010
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
May. 1, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,214
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
May. 1, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,565
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
May. 1, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 800
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
May. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,741
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
May. 1, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 794
Unless you don’t use the internet, don’t live in California, or haven’t been paying attention to the recent news… you should be aware that self-driving cars are on their way to becoming a reality. I have seen them – they are real. If you believe in the future reality of self-driving cars, then continue reading on. If you don’t believe in the future possibilities, then I am not sure what to do to convince you other than discuss the very real changes that will roll out with the consumer producti...
May. 1, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 624
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
May. 1, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,320
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
May. 1, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,487