Anavex Life Sciences Announces Data On 41-Week Treatment Of ANAVEX 2-73 For Patients With Alzheimer's Disease - Investigational Treatment Suggests To Curb Cognitive And Functional Decline

NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:AVXL) today announced a positive 41-week update from its Phase 2a study in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients for ANAVEX 2-73, which targets cellular homeostasis.

At 41 weeks, Alzheimer's patients taking a daily oral dose of ANAVEX 2-73 in the exploratory, not yet dose optimized Phase 2a clinical trial, showed a stabilization of cognitive and functional measures. This data of stabilization is promising since Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease where current therapeutics are only able to temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and not stop the disease from progressing.

At 41 weeks, oral daily dosing between 10mg and 50mg, ANAVEX 2-73 was well tolerated, and no patients discontinued treatment due to adverse events. There were no clinically significant treatment-related adverse events, and no serious adverse events.

Pre-specified exploratory analyses included the cognitive (MMSE) and the functional (ADCS-ADL) changes from baseline. A continued stabilization of both cognitive (MMSE) and functional (ADCS-ADL) measures in patients treated with ANAVEX 2-73 was observed. This correlation was positive with all measured scores (MMSE, ADCS-ADL, Cogstate, HAM-D and EEG/ERP).

George Perry, PhD, Dean and Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, commented, "Although this is an open label study with 32 patients, I have never seen mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's patients maintain near baseline cognitive and activities of daily living function and positive correlation with all other measures over a 41-week trial period in any prior study with an approved or experimental drug. It is quite plausible that complex CNS diseases like Alzheimer's may require a comprehensive approach, including restoration of cellular homeostasis."

Published Alzheimer disease studies confirm substantial declines of both the cognitive (MMSE) and the functional (ADCS-ADL) measures over this timeframe in a similar AD population. In comparison to historical control from a pooled placebo arm cohort study conducted by the Alzheimer Disease Cooperative Study Group in mild-to-moderate AD patients of comparable ages and MMSE baselines, over nine months the ANAVEX 2-73 data shows a potential treatment benefit of several points on both the MMSE scale and on the ADCS-ADL score.

"We are encouraged, however, we should be reminded that these endpoints are exploratory and need to be confirmed in a larger study, for which planning is underway," said Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. "This data provides valuable safety, tolerability and behavioral information for ANAVEX 2-73, which might allow us to also target shorter-term endpoints including behavioral and psychological symptoms."

About the ANAVEX 2-73 Phase 2a Study  The multicenter Phase 2a clinical trial of ANAVEX 2-73 consists of two parts and a total of 32 mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's patients. PART A is a simple randomized, open-label, two-period, cross-over between oral (30mg/50mg) and IV (3mg/5mg) administration, adaptive trial lasting up to 5 weeks for each patient. PART B is an open-label extension for an additional 52 weeks. Initially planned for 26 weeks, PART B was extended to 52 weeks as a result of requests from patients and caregivers.

The primary endpoint of the Phase 2a trial is to establish safety, tolerability and maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of ANAVEX 2-73, which had shown potential in preclinical studies to prevent, halt and/or reverse the course of the disease. Secondary endpoints include dose response, bioavailability, and exploratory cognitive as well as functional measures using Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and evaluation of Alzheimer's Disease Co-operative Study - Activities of Daily Living Inventory (ADCS-ADL), as well as Cogstate test battery and EEG/ERP.

Additional information regarding the ongoing Phase 2a clinical trial is available from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trials database at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

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, is currently in 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 and successfully completed Phase 1 with a clean safety profile. 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 and others. 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.

Forward-Looking StatementsStatements 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.Research & Business DevelopmentToll-free: 1-844-689-3939Email: info@anavex.comInvestors:Matthew HainesRiver East Investor Relations, LLC(917) 733-9297mhaines@rivereastir.comMedia:Dennis Dobson, Jr.Dobson Media Group(203) 258-0159dennisdobsonjr@dobsonmediagroup.com

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