Salk team launches phase I clinical trial for Alzheimer’s therapy

LA JOLLA—The investigational Alzheimer’s drug CMS121, developed and studied at Salk over the last fifteen years, has now moved into a phase I clinical trial to evaluate its safety in humans. Salk Research Professor Pamela Maher and Bill Raschke of Virogenics, Inc. will receive $4.5 million over two years from the National Institute of Aging to support the trial, and they expect the first doses to be administered to healthy volunteers in early 2022. In mice, CMS121 reverses signs of aging in the brain and prevents the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

“CMS121 is acting through a completely different pathway than most people have been looking at for Alzheimer’s disease,” says Maher, head of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory. “This drug could actually make a difference for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.”

In 2006, Maher and colleagues first discovered that fisetin—a natural chemical found in strawberries and other fruits…
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