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Pipeline Report - Neuronal alpha 7 nicotinic receptors: Candidates for the treatment of Alzheimers disease and Schizophrenia Product Image

Pipeline Report - Neuronal alpha 7 nicotinic receptors: Candidates for the treatment of Alzheimers disease and Schizophrenia

  • Published: December 2007
  • Lead Discovery


  • CoMentis
  • Memory Pharmaceuticals
  • NeuroSearch
  • Pfizer
  • Roche
  • Targacept
  • MORE

Neuronal alpha 7 nicotinic receptor (a7nAChR) ligands represent an emerging class of drug for the treatment of various CNS disorders associated with cognitive dysfunction. This report describes the proof of concept supporting the development of this class and analyzes the various different pharmacological approaches.

The report evaluates the a7nAChR pipeline. Preclinical and clinical stages candidates are identified and experimental data surrounding their development described and analyzed. In addition the companies developing these candidates are profiled.

a7nAChRs are selectively expressed in the brain, particularly in regions implicated in cognitive function and especially Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.

A large body of evidence supports the development of a7nAChR ligands for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Nicotinic agonists support neuronal survival through a7nAChRs and may therefore counter the neurodegenerative activity of beta amyloid. In addition to being involved in neural cell death or survival, a7nAChRs is also associated with learning and memory. Receptor agonists enhance LTP, an electrophysiological correlate of memory. In READ MORE >

1. Executive Summary

2. Nicotinic receptors – An introduction

The role of a7 nicotinic receptors in Alzheimer's disease

i. Neuroprotective role of nicotinic receptor stimulation
ii. Nootropic activity
iii. Pharmacological options for the development of a7 nAChR ligands as Alzheimer’s disease candidates
iv. Pure agonists
v. Partial Agonists
vi. Antagonists
vii. Allosteric Modulator

The role of a7 nicotinic receptors in schizophrenia

i. a7 nAChR ligands as candidate schizophrenia candidates: Pharmacological options

3. Marketed & Pipeline a7-nAChR ligands

a. Pipeline Development

i. Phase 2 – Two Clinical Candidates
ii. 1 – Four Candidates
iii. Preclinical – Six Candidates

- CoMentis
- Memory Pharmaceuticals
- Roche
- Targacept
- NeuroSearch
- Pfizer

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