Anavex Life Sciences Announces Additional Data at The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson's Disease Therapeutics Conference

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| Source: Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

ANAVEX®2-73 Shown to have Neurorestorative Effects in a Model for Experimental Parkinsonism

NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Anavex or the Company) (Nasdaq:AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer, today announced additional data for ANAVEX®2-73 in a model for experimental parkinsonism. The data will be shown today at the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Parkinson's Disease Therapeutics Conference taking place at Convene Midtown East, New York City in a poster titled, “ANAVEX2-73, a clinical Alzheimer drug candidate, induces neurorestoration in experimental parkinsonism.”

The study’s principle investigators, Veronica Francardo, PhD and Angela Cenci, MD, PhD, Professor of Experimental Medical Research at Lund University, Sweden, stated, “These new results indicate that ANAVEX2-73 has robust neurorestorative effects on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway in all doses tested. The encouraging results we have gathered in this model, coupled with the favorable profile of this compound in the Alzheimer’s disease trial, support the notion that ANAVEX2-73 is a promising clinical candidate drug for Parkinson’s disease.”

It was previously shown that ANAVEX2-73 significantly promotes recovery of motor functions (p<0.05), induces higher levels of striatal dopamine fibers (p<0.05) and reduces microglial activation (p<0.05) in a mouse model of nigrostriatal dopaminergic degeneration relevant to Parkinson's disease.

A consistent abnormality in Parkinson's disease is degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, leading to a reduction of dopamine axon fibers and dopamine levels in the striatum. As tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) catalyzes the formation of L-DOPA, the rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of dopamine, tyrosine hydroxylase-deficiency levels are correlated with the severity of parkinson-like motor deficits.

The additional data reveals that ANAVEX2-73 not only seems to have a wide dose-response profile but also activates neuroplasticity mechanisms and exerts noticeable neurorestorative effects on striatal dopamine axon fibers. This was confirmed by expression of a marker of axonal regeneration in the striatum, Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP43), being co-localized with TH, which was only found in the ANAVEX2-73-treated animal cohorts but not in the control cohort.

Further analyses are ongoing in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the neurorestorative properties of ANAVEX2-73.

The study is supported by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

“These findings are very encouraging and support our strategy to initiate a randomized and placebo controlled phase 2 study in Parkinson's disease with ANAVEX2-73,” said Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

As the world’s largest non-profit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $700 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges ground breaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.

About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq:AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer. Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73, recently completed successfully a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. It has also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has awarded Anavex a research grant to develop ANAVEX®2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease to fully fund a preclinical study, which could justify moving ANAVEX®2-73 into a Parkinson’s disease clinical trial. ANAVEX®3-71, also targeting sigma-1 and M1 muscarinic receptors, is a promising preclinical drug candidate demonstrating disease modifications against the major Alzheimer’s hallmarks in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid and tau pathologies, and also with beneficial effects on neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunctions. Further information is available at www.anavex.com. You can also connect with the company on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

For Further Information:
Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
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Toll-free: 1-844-689-3939
Email:  info@anavex.com

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