About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease which accounts for over 60% of cases of dementia, and affects 1% of the world’s population. At 85 years of age, there is a 50% chance of developing AD and the incidence is increasing with ageing demographics. Initial symptoms include difficulty remembering recent events, which progresses to disorientation, mood changes, and loss of motivation. Patients become wheel-chair bound and entirely dependent on carers. The impact of dementia is therefore on the patient, their family, and wider society. The aetiology of Alzheimer’s Disease are poorly understood, despite knowledge of genetic links and risk factors, and considerable efforts by the pharmaceutical industry have not been successful. New drug targets to address this devastating disease are therefore urgently needed.
Autifony Alzheimer’s Disease Programme
In March 2017, Autifony announced a new funding award from the Biomedical Catalyst for initiation of a research programme with a novel approach to the treatment of dementia. An investment from the Dementia Discovery Fund will also be used to pursue this highly novel approach to dementia treatment.
Autifony will use its extensive expertise in the voltage-gated ion channel field to tackle a different subtype of potassium channel, which has been implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease and potentially other dementias, through regulation of synapse function. Synaptic function is impaired early in the course of the disease and therefore novel drugs that target this previously unexplored ion channel could have potential not only to improve symptoms of AD, but to be disease modifying.