Axonyx Drug Offers Unique Approach to the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Findings Presented at the 5th International Conference on the Progress in

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases in Kyoto, Japan



Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Axonyx Inc.

    KYOTO, Japan, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Axonyx Inc. (Nasdaq:   AXYX) announced
 today that scientists from the University of Indiana and the National
 Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) have found in
 preclinical studies, that Phenserine, the Company's lead Alzheimer's Disease
 (AD) drug, has the ability to regulate amyloid precursor protein (APP)
 processing and could modify the progression of the disease.  Axonyx holds
 worldwide rights to Phenserine, a novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that is
 currently in a Phase II proof of concept study in the United States.
     Recent research lead by Debomoy Lahiri Ph.D., Associate Professor in the
 Department of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Nigel
 Greig Ph.D. at the NIH/NIA, provides new evidence that Phenserine reduces the
 formation of beta-amyloid, a toxic peptide, by regulating APP.  The currently
 accepted theory in AD is that beta amyloid, derived from APP, piles up between
 brain cells, forming plaques, gradually killing surrounding cells and causing
 loss of memory and cognition.
     The mapping of the human genome has stimulated companies to focus on
 therapies that block a mechanism involved in beta amyloid production. However,
 the control of protein gene expression at the cellular level has been an
 elusive target until this finding by Dr. Lahiri and his associates.
     "One of the therapeutic goals in AD is the reduction in levels of the
 potentially toxic beta-amyloid, which is derived from a larger protein
 molecule called APP.  Factors that inhibit the expression and processing of
 APP are central to AD therapy," remarked Dr. Lahiri. "To the best of my
 knowledge, this finding is the first time an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
 has shown promise as a regulator of protein expression at a cellular level."
     "In seeking new and more effective treatments for Alzheimer's Disease,
 companies are pursuing various ways to prevent amyloid deposit build-up,
 inhibit production of amyloid, and/or reverse plaque deposition," commented
 Marvin S. Hausman, M.D., President & CEO of Axonyx.  "Drugs that are currently
 in use for the treatment of AD in the United States improve brain function for
 a relatively short period of time and have not been shown to slow the
 progression of the underlying disease. We believe Phenserine is the first
 acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which shows therapeutic promise in preclinical
 studies as a drug with the ability to reduce APP load, decrease beta amyloid
 production, and slow down the AD process.  The dual action of Phenserine in
 both its ability to increase memory by inhibition of acetylcholinesterase and
 its effect on beta amyloid through down regulation of APP puts our drug in a
 class by itself."
 
     Axonyx Inc. is a US based biotechnology company engaged in the discovery,
 acquisition and development of proprietary pharmaceutical compounds and new
 technologies useful in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease,
 other memory disorders and Mad Cow Disease.
 
     This press release may contain forward-looking statements or predictions.
 These statements represent our judgment as of this date and are subject to
 risks and uncertainties that could materially affect the Company.  Among other
 things, Axonyx cannot guarantee that the preclinical results will translate
 into positive human data and that regulating APP will slow the progression of
 Alzheimer's Disease.  Axonyx undertakes no obligation to publicly release the
 result of any revisions to such forward-looking statements that may be made to
 reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the
 occurrence of unanticipated events.
 
 

SOURCE Axonyx Inc.
    KYOTO, Japan, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Axonyx Inc. (Nasdaq:   AXYX) announced
 today that scientists from the University of Indiana and the National
 Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) have found in
 preclinical studies, that Phenserine, the Company's lead Alzheimer's Disease
 (AD) drug, has the ability to regulate amyloid precursor protein (APP)
 processing and could modify the progression of the disease.  Axonyx holds
 worldwide rights to Phenserine, a novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that is
 currently in a Phase II proof of concept study in the United States.
     Recent research lead by Debomoy Lahiri Ph.D., Associate Professor in the
 Department of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Nigel
 Greig Ph.D. at the NIH/NIA, provides new evidence that Phenserine reduces the
 formation of beta-amyloid, a toxic peptide, by regulating APP.  The currently
 accepted theory in AD is that beta amyloid, derived from APP, piles up between
 brain cells, forming plaques, gradually killing surrounding cells and causing
 loss of memory and cognition.
     The mapping of the human genome has stimulated companies to focus on
 therapies that block a mechanism involved in beta amyloid production. However,
 the control of protein gene expression at the cellular level has been an
 elusive target until this finding by Dr. Lahiri and his associates.
     "One of the therapeutic goals in AD is the reduction in levels of the
 potentially toxic beta-amyloid, which is derived from a larger protein
 molecule called APP.  Factors that inhibit the expression and processing of
 APP are central to AD therapy," remarked Dr. Lahiri. "To the best of my
 knowledge, this finding is the first time an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor
 has shown promise as a regulator of protein expression at a cellular level."
     "In seeking new and more effective treatments for Alzheimer's Disease,
 companies are pursuing various ways to prevent amyloid deposit build-up,
 inhibit production of amyloid, and/or reverse plaque deposition," commented
 Marvin S. Hausman, M.D., President & CEO of Axonyx.  "Drugs that are currently
 in use for the treatment of AD in the United States improve brain function for
 a relatively short period of time and have not been shown to slow the
 progression of the underlying disease. We believe Phenserine is the first
 acetylcholinesterase inhibitor which shows therapeutic promise in preclinical
 studies as a drug with the ability to reduce APP load, decrease beta amyloid
 production, and slow down the AD process.  The dual action of Phenserine in
 both its ability to increase memory by inhibition of acetylcholinesterase and
 its effect on beta amyloid through down regulation of APP puts our drug in a
 class by itself."
 
     Axonyx Inc. is a US based biotechnology company engaged in the discovery,
 acquisition and development of proprietary pharmaceutical compounds and new
 technologies useful in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease,
 other memory disorders and Mad Cow Disease.
 
     This press release may contain forward-looking statements or predictions.
 These statements represent our judgment as of this date and are subject to
 risks and uncertainties that could materially affect the Company.  Among other
 things, Axonyx cannot guarantee that the preclinical results will translate
 into positive human data and that regulating APP will slow the progression of
 Alzheimer's Disease.  Axonyx undertakes no obligation to publicly release the
 result of any revisions to such forward-looking statements that may be made to
 reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the
 occurrence of unanticipated events.
 
 SOURCE  Axonyx Inc.