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NeuroTherapia, Inc. has received a $1.7 million commitment from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) to advance its drug NTRX-07 toward human clinical trials. This inventive therapy targets a cannabinoid receptor in the brain, which is a new approach for treating Alzheimer’s and other neurologic diseases.

NeuroTherapia, a spin-off company created by Cleveland Clinic Innovations based on research by Drs. Mohamed Naguib and Joseph Foss, is developing new drugs that focus on microglia. These central nervous system immune cells can promote inflammation in the brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other diseases. By targeting cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors on microglia, NTRX-07 has shown the ability to lessen such neuroinflammation in pre-clinical disease models, protecting neurons from damage and death.

Drs. Naguib and Foss
Drs. Naguib and Foss

“The protection of neurons from the damaging effects of inflammation caused by microglial over-activation is a novel approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease,” states Dr. Foss, Director, Clinical Research for General Anesthesiology at Cleveland Clinic and co-founder and Chief Medical Officer for NeuroTherapia. “We are excited to be partnering with the ADDF on the development of NTRX-07 for this devastating disease.”

Multiple preclinical studies published by Dr. Naguib, Professor of Anesthesiology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of NeuroTherapia, have demonstrated that NTRX-07 reduces neuroinflammation caused by microglia and limits the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment with the compound in mice restored cognition, memory and synaptic plasticity—a key foundation of learning and memory. With funding from the ADDF, NeuroTherapia will complete regulatory studies toward initiation of a clinical trial.

“The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is committed to supporting new therapeutic approaches with the most potential to impact Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia,” says Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF. “Drugs that combat neuroinflammation are a major part of our research portfolio, and we look forward to working with the team at NeuroTherapia to advance NTRX-07.”

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