Drug Candidate Makes Big Strides in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease Cognitive Impairment

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Biopharmaceutical company Aptinyx Inc. (NASDAQ: APTX) has announced positive preclinical data on its novel NMDA receptor modulator, NYX-458, demonstrating reversal of cognitive deficits in a nonhuman primate model of Parkinson’s disease.

While motor symptoms are the principal symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, many people with Parkinson’s also suffer from cognitive impairment. That’s where NYX-458 steps in as an NMDA receptor modulating small molecule to treat this aspect of Parkinson’s disease.

NYX-458 was shown to induce statistically significant cognitive improvements following a second course of MPTP dosing. In the dimple discrimination reversal assay, an assessment of cognitive flexibility or the ability to switch from thinking about one concept to another, administration of NYX-458 resulted in statistically significant improvements in discrimination reversal.

The improvements observed on cognitive performance were consistent across the battery of cognitive tests, were maintained with daily oral administration of NYX-458 and endured for roughly three months after dosing was discontinued.

NYX-458 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical study to establish safety and tolerability. The company expects to report data from that study in the first half of 2019.

Norbert Riedel, Ph.D., president and CEO at Aptinyx, commented:

With up to half of all people with Parkinson’s disease experiencing cognitive impairment and very few therapeutic options addressing these cognitive deficits, the unmet need in Parkinson’s cognitive impairment is immense. The benefits observed in this highly translatable disease model demonstrate the potential for NYX-458 to be a much-needed improvement in treating these cognitive symptoms. It is highly encouraging that administration of NYX-458 was able to restore cognitive performance in this study – on some measures, back to healthy baseline levels – and we are eager to initiate a Phase 2 study in patients with Parkinson’s disease later this year.

Shares of Aptinyx were last seen up about 8% at $4.42, in a 52-week range of $3.70 to $32.25. The consensus price target is $19.33.

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