Early Alzheimers’ disease trial approval
Today, Anavex Life Sciences (AVXL) announced approval from the Australian Human Research Ethics Committee to initiate its Phase 2b/3 trial evaluating investigational therapy ANAVEX2-73 in early Alzheimers’ disease. The trial is scheduled to be conducted in Australia as well as North America. This news catapulted the company’s stock price up by around 44.7% to reach $3.85 today.
Anavex focuses on developing therapies targeting multiple neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers’ as well as rare diseases such as Rett syndrome, using precision genetic medicine.
The above slide shows how precision medicine or biomarkers can help improve the overall success rate of clinical trials.
Other research programs
Avanex Life Sciences plans to initiate Phase 2 programs evaluating ANAVEX2-73 in Rett syndrome and Parkinson’s disease indications in H2 2018.
Neurodegenerative diseases market opportunity
According to Anavex Life Sciences, approximately 46 million people around the world suffer from dementia. The company has also estimated the global cost of dementia to be around $818 billion. Parkinson’s disease is expected to affect almost 2% of the patients above 65 years of age or around 10 million people globally. Avanex Life Sciences estimates that approximately 1 million people in the United States suffer from this condition.
Anavex has projected the global cost of Alzheimers’ disease to reach up to $1.5 trillion by 2050. Despite the high disease prevalence as well as the high economic burden, there are currently only four FDA-approved medicines that can temporarily slow down Alzheimers’ symptoms patients for six to 12 months. These statistics highlight the large scale of underserved opportunity in the neurodegenerative disease segment.
Cash and debt
At the end of March 2017, Avanex Life Sciences had $25.7 million in cash and no debt on its balance sheet. Supported by the Australian government and other partners, the company is confident about funding its ongoing research programs until March 2020.