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Alzheimer's disease (AD); schizophrenia

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor a7 (CHRNA7)

Rodent studies identified a CHRNA7 agonist that could help treat cognitive impairment associated with AD and schizophrenia. In rats, the agonist decreased markers of schizophrenia compared with vehicle. In rats, the agonist also increased memory. Siena Biotech S.p.A. is not disclosing next steps, which could include testing the lead compound in additional rodent models of AD and schizophrenia.
At least five companies have CHRNA7 agonists in Phase II testing or earlier to treat AD or schizophrenia.

SciBX 5(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1142
Published online Nov. 1, 2012

Patented; available for licensing from Siena Biotech

Zanaletti, R. et al. J. Med. Chem.; published online Oct. 19, 2012;
Contact: Riccardo Zanaletti, Siena Biotech S.p.A, Siena, Italy