Anavex Takes Off on Positive Alzheimer’s Data

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Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: AVXL) was leading the bulls in Monday’s trading session on news of positive results from an Alzheimer’s study. The company announced the publication of further data for Anavex 3-71 (formerly AF710B) in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Neurodegenerative Diseases. The data provide evidence for a positive, more upstream effect on reducing synaptic loss, amyloid and tau pathologies and neuroinflammation, which is potentially beneficial for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Anavex 3-71 is part of the company’s pipeline, including Anavex 2-73, targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors.

For some background on the company, it is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel drug candidates to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases and various types of cancer.

Study author Abraham Fisher, PhD., commented:

Our preclinical findings for ANAVEX 3-71 demonstrate its significant potential to enhance neuroprotection and cognition via concomitant activation of sigma-1 receptor and M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M1R), which could be a therapeutic advantage in treating Alzheimer’s and other related protein-aggregation diseases. Specifically, the study results reveal that ANAVEX 3-71 effects a strong reversal of synaptic loss in hippocampal neurons. At very low doses, it mitigates cognitive deficits and normalizes major pathological hallmarks in Alzheimer’s disease models indicating that ANAVEX 3-71 exerts a comprehensive disease-modifying effect. This data adds to the strong foundation of preclinical evidence to support the potential use of ANAVEX 3-71 in Alzheimer’s disease and a wide array of other central nervous system diseases.

Christopher U. Missling, PhD, president and CEO of Anavex, added:

In addition to ANAVEX 2-73, which is currently the subject of an ongoing PART B longitudinal extension of the Phase 2a study, it appears that ANAVEX 3-71 could be a highly effective treatment for Alzheimer’s when compared with competing drugs, including donepezil (Aricept®), the current standard of care. Based on the growing body of positive preclinical data, we look forward to continuing to advance ANAVEX 3-71 towards a potential first human clinical trial.

So far in 2015, since Anavex came public, the stock has underperformed the market and is actually down over 36%.

Shares of Anavex were trading up about 30% at $7.82 Monday, with a consensus analyst price target of $10.16 and a post-IPO trading range of $3.16 to $14.84.

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