Prana Soars On Alzheimer’s Results (PRAN)

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A small biotech out of Australia called Prana Biotechnology Ltd. (NASDAQ: PRAN) today is trading up nearly 50% to a new 52-week high on favorable results in Alzheimer’s Disease studies.  The company announced that its PBT2 demonstrated safety and tolerability and reduced Abeta 42, in a Phase IIa study of PBT2 in patients with early Alzheimer’s Disease. Its PBT2 also improved executive function performance in select cognitive tests.

This was a double blind multi-center study with 78 patients in Sweden and Australia, who either received a placebo or PBT2 50mg or PBT2 250mg capsule once per day for 12 weeks.  The safety data was similar between PBT2 and placebo with no adverse events.  part of the observation was reducing Abeta 42 in the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain, which is considered to be a key biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease.

This is not without risk and not without doubt, so don’t take this tomean that Prana has found the cure or that they are self-funded withoutthe need for cash.  Even after the 50% jump today, Prana’s market cap is a mere $115 million.  As of last year it had a mere $6.5 million equivalent cash on its books. We would caution that volume is nearly 1 million shares now, yet this one trades only an average of about 25,000 shares.

Jon C. Ogg
February 26, 2008