Indication

Target/marker/pathway

Summary

Licensing status

Publication and contact information

Neurology

Alzheimer's disease (AD)

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

Drosophila and mouse studies suggest EGFR inhibitors could help treat AD. In transgenic flies expressing human b-amyloid 42, the EGFR inhibitors Iressa and Tarceva prevented memory loss as effectively as the approved AD drug memantine. In a transgenic mouse model of AD, Iressa decreased memory loss compared with vehicle. In both a mouse and fly behavioral screen of 2,000 synthetic compounds that modulate protein kinase activities,
3 compounds prevented memory loss and inhibited b-amyloid 42-
mediated Egfr activity. Next steps include identifying more compounds for preclinical screening.
Astellas Pharma Inc., Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Roche market Tarceva erlotinib to treat pancreatic cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
AstraZeneca plc's Iressa is in Phase III testing to treat head and neck cancer.

SciBX 5(40); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1058
Published online Oct. 11, 2012

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Wang, L. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Sept. 27, 2012;
doi:10.1073/pnas.1208011109
Contact: Yi Zhong, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.
e-mail:
zhongyi@cshl.edu