Experimental Rx Could Boost Memory

BPN14770 memory drug enters phase I clinical trial

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh

(RxWiki News) In Alzheimer's treatment, an experimental drug could offer some exciting possibilities.

A new drug designed to improve memory and cognition has now entered phase I clinical trials, reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The compound, BPN14770, was developed by Tetra Discovery Partners and funded by the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BNN), an NIH program created to help the development of new neurological treatments. BPN14770 is the first drug funded by the BNN to reach this phase of testing.

"We are pleased that BPN14770 has moved into a clinical study and we are eagerly awaiting the outcomes of the safety trial," said Amir Tamiz, PhD, program director of the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in a press release.

While researchers said this drug may hold promise for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment, BPN14770 is still in the very early stages of testing. Much more research is needed.

"There is a rapidly rising need for improved therapies for Alzheimer’s disease," said Tetra CEO Mark Gurney, PhD, in a press release. "BPN14770 offers a novel approach that intervenes in important neural pathways related to learning and memory storage that underlie daily cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease."

BPN14770 is designed to affect an enzyme that plays a role in the formation of brain cell connections. This enzyme, called PDE4D, also increases the activity of a protein tied to learning and memory in the brain.

Phase I trials will test the drug's safety and what happens to it inside the body in 48 healthy volunteers. If deemed safe, phase II will look at its effects on long-term memory and other aspects of cognition.

Review Date: 
January 4, 2016
Last Updated:
January 5, 2016