'HILLARY WOULD LOVE THIS'Mrs. Clinton's likeness was part of a presentation by JohnGroom, president and chief executive officer of AthenaNeurosciences (NASDAQ:ATHN) of South San Francisco, Calif.Groom flashed the first lady's photo onto the screen todemonstrate how Eli Lilly and Co.'s Permax, licensed to Athenain the U.S. for treating Parkinson's disease, will save up to$2,000 a year in medical costs per patient. "Hillary will lovethis" was the caption accompanying her photo.
Groom discussed last fall's news about a screen that can detectthe so-called beta-peptide, the putative cause of Alzheimer'sdisease, in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Beta-peptide isformed by abnormal cleavage of the amyloid precurson.
"Therefore, our therapeutic strategies are to pursue enzymeinhibitors" of that event, said Groom. "We have compounds thatreduce beta-peptide secretions in cells, and expect to select alead compound, hopefully by the end of this year or early nextyear."
Athena expects to break the code in July on a Phase III trial ofAN021A, a drug to combat spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS)and people with spinal injuries, and to file an investigationalnew drug (IND) application by the end of the year. Spasticityplagues one-third of the estimated 250,000-300,000 MSsufferers in the U.S.
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