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Alzheimer's disease (AD)

Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase 2 (ROCK2)

Studies in cell culture and mice suggest ROCK2 inhibitors could be useful for treating AD. In cultured human neuroblastoma cells and mouse brain slices, a small molecule ROCK2 inhibitor lowered activity of b-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and decreased levels of b-amyloid (Ab) compared with vehicle. In a mouse model of AD, the ROCK2 inhibitor lowered Ab levels compared with mock injection. Next steps could include testing the effect of ROCK2 inhibitors on behavioral and cognitive functioning in AD mouse models.
KD025, a ROCK2 inhibitor from Kadmon Corp. LLC, has completed Phase I testing in autoimmune indications.

SciBX 7(3); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.93
Published online Jan. 23, 2014

Patent and licensing status undisclosed

Herskowitz, J.H. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online Dec. 4, 2013;
Contact: James J. Lah, Emory University School of Medicine Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, Atlanta, Ga.