NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (OTCQB: AVXL) today commented on the World Alzheimer Report 2013 (PDF), which examines the latest global and regional trends of older people needing dementia care. The report forecasts that the cost and burden of caring for people with dementia will approximately triple by 2050 because a cure has not yet been discovered. Those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease constitute the largest portion of people suffering from dementia.
"With the world's population aging, dementia and Alzheimer's disease have become one of the biggest health challenges facing our generation," said Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. "We are proud to be playing our part to find a cure for Alzheimer's by advancing ANAVEX 2-73, our lead compound, as an innovative and potentially important treatment."
According to the World Alzheimer Report 2013, the current worldwide cost of dementia including Alzheimer's care is over US$600 billion, or approximately 1% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In total, 35 million people around the world are currently living with the condition. This number is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050 to 115 million.
The report states that 13% of the global population aged 60 and over require long-term care, which is primarily about caring for people with dementia. It estimates that approximately 80% of older people in nursing homes are living with dementia.
Treating Alzheimer's disease
Five drugs are currently approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer's disease. Their combined sales last year exceeded $6 billion, despite only reducing Alzheimer's symptoms for approximately half of the individuals who take them for between six and 12 months.
"Alzheimer's is a devastating disease for the individuals living with it, their loved ones and caregivers and our approach has always been to efficiently develop innovative therapies for serious diseases," adds Dr. Missling.
In pre-clinical studies, ANAVEX 2-73 produced up to 80% greater reversal of memory loss and neuroprotection in Alzheimer's disease models when used in combination with Aricept® (donepezil) versus when the drugs were used individually. ANAVEX 2-73 is an orally available small molecule and pre-clinical data to date indicates that it has the potential to prevent, halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease. The Company looks forward to commencing a Phase 1b trial of ANAVEX 2-73, potentially combined with a Phase 2a study in patients, especially in light of the very encouraging synergic effect when tested in combination with Aricept® (donepezil).
The World Alzheimer Report 2013 was independently researched and authored by Prof. Martin Prince, Dr. Matthew Prina and Dr. Maëlenn Guerchet on behalf of the Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care, which is hosted at the Health Service and Population Research Department, King's College London. It was supported by Alzheimer's Disease International and King's College London.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (www.anavex.com) is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of novel drug candidates. ANAVEX 2-73, a drug candidate developed to treat Alzheimer's disease through disease modification, has undergone an initial Phase 1 human clinical trial and was well tolerated in doses up to 55mg. Conducted pre-clinical studies indicate that ANAVEX 2-73 demonstrates anti-amnesic and neuroprotective properties. Anavex is a publicly traded corporation quoted as AVXL.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
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