Annual Report 2012

The Development of UDP Analogs for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Funding year(s): 
2012
Funding to date: 
$100,000

The goal of this project is to collaborate with a medicinal chemist to design, synthesize and test the efficacy of third-generation small molecules that will activate glial receptors. The most efficacious molecules then will be tested for their ability to reverse plaque burden in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

The brain is composed of two classes of cells, electrically active neurons and electrically silent glia. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Philip Haydon’s lab has focused its research efforts on understanding the role of glia in brain function. As a consequence, the scientists made a breakthrough discovery that these often-neglected cells offer new therapeutic opportunities for the treatment of disorders of the brain. In particular, they demonstrated that the activation of a glial receptor leads to the clearance of amyloid plaques and restores learning and memory in Alzheimer’s mouse models.

The goal of this project is to collaborate with a medicinal chemist to design, synthesize and test the efficacy of third-generation small molecules that will activate these glial receptors. The most efficacious molecules then will be tested for their ability to reverse plaque burden in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Success in this project will allow Dr. Haydon and associates to leverage private and federal funds to develop a small biotech spin-off focused on glial cells, and will prepare this study for IND-enabling studies as well as Phase I clinical trials of compounds developed in this project.

Roadmap: 
Researchers: