Nycomed Amersham Imaging and Neurochem Collaborate to Create Alzheimer`s Diagnostic
... presence of amyloid plaques that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer`s patients....... products, some of which are used to treat localized tumors such as prostate cancer,...
Jul 19 8:00 AM ET
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Posted on: 07/19/2001
"Yahoo - Nycomed Amersham Imaging and Neurochem Collaborate to Create Alzheimer's Diagnostic"
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Thursday July 19, 8:00 am Eastern Time
Nycomed Amersham Imaging and Neurochem Collaborate to Create Alzheimer's Diagnostic
Companies unite innovative amyloid-based Alzheimer's Disease research with enhanced imaging technology
SAINT-LAURENT, CANADA, and LONDON, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Neurochem, Inc.
(TSE: NRM - news) and Nycomed Amersham Imaging today announced that the two companies
have agreed to collaborate on the creation of a product for the diagnosis of
Alzheimer's Disease. Using Neurochem's proprietary molecules as a basis, the
companies will work together on the design and selection of a product to
detect the presence of amyloid plaques that accumulate in the brains of
The successful outcome of this joint effort should
enable early and accurate diagnosis of the disease.
"This collaboration provides an exciting opportunity to capitalize on
Neurochem's amyloid targeting technology in molecular imaging," said Dr. Bill
Clarke, Executive Vice-President, Research and Development, Nycomed Amersham
Imaging. "The early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease is likely to be a key to
the successful application of emerging therapeutics, including those currently
in development at Neurochem, that promise to prevent or slow the progression
of the disease. Within the neuro-imaging field, Nycomed Amersham Imaging in
the past year has consolidated its market presence founded on Ceretec®
(technetium Tc-99m exametazime) used for visualization of cerebral blood flow
in stroke patients through its European launch of DaTSCAN(TM), a
radiopharmaceutical for the diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease (PD) and related
An Alzheimer's Disease imaging product will allow us to extend
this established franchise in the field."
"By entering into this promising collaboration, Nycomed Amersham Imaging
recognizes the potential for beta-amyloid, the target of Neurochem's clinical
therapeutic compound, to be a key marker for Alzheimer's Disease," commented
Dr. Louis R. Lamontagne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neurochem.
"This collaboration provides our two companies with an opportunity to
revolutionize the way this disease is diagnosed and treated."
Under the terms of the collaboration, Neurochem will identify appropriate
amyloid-binding molecules from its library of compounds. Nycomed Amersham
Imaging will then synthesize radio-labeled binding molecules to be used in
conjunction with diagnostic imaging tools.
The goal for this innovative
diagnostic will be to enable the early identification of amyloid plaques in
the brains of Alzheimer's patients, even before symptoms of the disease are
Alzheimer's Disease is the most common cause of dementia in the aging
population, and affects approximately 4 million people in the U.S. alone. In
its early stages, the disease causes only minor incidences of memory loss or
forgetfulness; as it progresses, the symptoms multiply and intensify, causing
the deterioration of both cognitive and motor functioning. Ongoing research
into the underlying mechanisms of the disease has led to the development of
therapeutics that will eventually slow or prevent the effects of the disease
process. Stemming from the same area of research, this diagnostic could be the
first of its kind.
Neurochem is a leader in the development of novel, proprietary compounds
that inhibit the formation, deposition and toxic effects of amyloid fibrils
within the body.
Neurochem's innovative core technology consists of the design and
synthesis of compounds that mimic the properties of sulphated
glycosaminoglycans' or GAGs, complex carbohydrates that promote the amyloid
fibril formation that is characteristic of Alzheimer's Disease. Neurochem's
synthetic compounds compete with the naturally occurring GAGs to interfere
with the formation and deposition of amyloid aggregates. This biochemical
"deception" has been proven successful in studies showing the compounds
disrupting the formation of indicators of Alzheimer's Disease, and many other
detrimental amyloid-based diseases.
Neurochem's research team has been working with international amyloid
experts on the development of therapeutic cures to amyloid-related diseases,
including Alzheimer's Disease, Secondary Amyloidosis, Diabetes Type II and
Hemorrhagic Stroke due to Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. Neurochem has advanced
three drug candidates to clinical trials for Alzheimer's Disease, Secondary
Amyloidosis and Hemorrhagic Stroke. At present, the Company employs over 73
people and is located in Saint-Laurent, Canada (www.neurochem.com).
About Nycomed Amersham Imaging
Nycomed Amersham Imaging is a research-based pharmaceutical company
dedicated to providing health care professionals with products that expand and
improve their diagnostic capabilities and contribute to treatment of disease.
Products marketed by Nycomed Amersham Imaging are used in x-ray imaging,
computed tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and
radiopharmaceutical imaging. These are, in general, ingested or injected into
the bloodstream to enhance images of the structure or functioning of body
organs obtained during diagnostic imaging procedures. These enhanced
diagnostic images enable physicians to more accurately detect, diagnose, and
treat diseases and functional abnormalities. In addition, Nycomed Amersham
Imaging has nuclear oncology products, some of which are used to treat
localized tumors such as prostate cancer, and another, which is used to treat
pain from cancer that has spread to the bone.
Nycomed Amersham Imaging is committed to finding innovative diagnostic and
therapeutic solutions in cardiology, pulmonology, neurology and oncology. The
Company is part of Amersham plc (NYSE: NYE; LSE: NAM; OSE: NYA), the world
leader in in vivo diagnostic imaging and life sciences. Based in the United
Kingdom, the company has annual sales of 1.4 billion pounds sterling
(approximately U.S. $2.1 billion) and around 8,900 employees worldwide.
All of the statements contained in this news release, other than
statements of fact, which are independently verifiable at the date hereof, are
forward-looking statements. Such statements, based as they are on the current
expectations of management, inherently involve numerous risks and
uncertainties, known and unknown. Some examples of known risks are: the impact
of general economic conditions, general conditions in the pharmaceutical
industry, changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which
Neurochem does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, and
changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation or otherwise.
Consequently, actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated
results expressed in the forward-looking statements.
AT NEUROCHEM, INC.:
Dr. Lise Hebert
and Investor Relations
Tel.: (514) 337-4646
Fax: (514) 337-5339
E-mai l: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.neurochem.com
AT NYCOMED AMERSHAM IMAGING:
Carol J. Perlman
V.P., Corporate Communication
Tel.: 1 609-514-6600
Fax: 1 609-514-6572
AT AMERSHAM PLC:
Investor Relations: Alexandra Morris
Tel: +44 1494 54 2051
Corporate Affairs: Lynne Gailey
Tel : +44 1494 54 2050
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