Healthcare Industry News:  Alzheimer’s disease 

Biopharmaceuticals Neurology

 News Release - October 22, 2007

Acumen Co-Founders Link Alzheimer's Cause to Insulin Resistance

Research Team Led by Acumen Co-Founders Finds that Memory-Blocking ADDLs Also Interfere with Brain Insulin Activity

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Acumen Pharmaceuticals, a leading pre-clinical biotech company in Alzheimer’s therapeutics, announced the publication of a groundbreaking study demonstrating that ADDLs (amyloid β-derived diffusible ligands) block key insulin signaling pathways in the brain. The study, co-authored by Acumen founder and chief science officer Dr. Grant Krafft, former Acumen scientist Dr. Wei-Qin Zhao, and scientists in the laboratory of Acumen co-founder Dr. William Klein, appeared in the recent issue of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.

ADDLs are small soluble neurotoxic protein assemblies discovered by Acumen founding scientists over a decade ago, and they are now widely regarded as the cause of early memory failure and eventual degeneration in Alzheimer's disease. Earlier research demonstrated that ADDLs bind specifically at nerve synapses where they trigger abnormal signaling, which interferes with critical memory pathways. These latest results now reveal that ADDL signaling also causes a rapid loss of synaptic insulin receptors, which are involved in diverse brain functions including synaptic activities required for learning and memory.

“We’ve known for some time that ADDL signaling blocks key learning and memory pathways, and now we’ve learned that ADDLs also interfere with key insulin pathways crucial for nerve cell function and survival,” said Dr. Krafft. “These new details expand our understanding of how ADDLs compromise nerve cells in the brain, and they strengthen Acumen’s resolve to develop anti-ADDL therapeutics to reverse the devastating memory loss in AD.

About Acumen

Acumen Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( is a venture-backed, pre-clinical biotech company focused on developing disease modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related disorders. Founded in 1996, Acumen owns or has licensed the critical patents underlying the ADDL mechanism now widely believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease. Acumen has partnered with Merck & Co. to develop anti-ADDL antibody therapeutics and diagnostics and has two proprietary internal therapeutic approaches to stop ADDL-related diseases. NeuroVentures LLC has made a seed investment in the company.

Source: Acumen Pharmaceuticals

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