Intellect Neurosciences, Inc.(OTC: ILNS | PowerRating), the micro-cap company whose founder is the inventor and patent holder for the technology platform on which several Alzheimer's drug candidates in late-stage clinical trials (most visibily Bapineuzumab) are based, has announced that it has engaged Dr. Giora Feuerstein as a key consultant to advise the Company regarding its internal preclinical and clinical-stage pipeline.
The news is significant because until earlier this year, Dr. Feuerstein was Assistant Vice President & Head, Discovery Translational Medicine at Pfizer, having previously held these positions at Wyeth Research. In short, Dr. Feuerstein goes from working directly with the leading Alzheimer's drug candidates at those large pharmaceutical companies to working with Intellect Neurosciences on helping develop the company's OXIGON®- a promising potential disease-modifying drug for Alzheimer's disease.
Recently, in an exclusive commentary, Dr. Daniel Chain, Chief Executive Officer of Intellect Neurosciences told BioMedReports that in contrast to many biopharmaceutical companies focused on Alzheimer's disease (AD), Intellect Neurosciences is developing multiple therapeutic approaches and technologies aimed at slowing down, arresting or preventing the disease. His comments came after Lilly (NYSE: LLY) announced that it was ending its large clinical trials of the Alzheimer's drug Semagacestat after disappointing results. "I remain firmly convinced, based on years of research and evidence from genetic, epidiemological, transgenic models and clinical data that the accumulation of soluble amyloid beta in the brain results in a neurodegenerative process that ultimately leads to AD," said Chain. "My opinion is shared by the vast majority of scientists and clinicians involved in Alzheimer's research and I am unaware of any clinical or other data that casts doubt on my strong belief." ILNS's OXIGON® drug is said to have the potential to protect the brain and other tissues against oxidative stress and in addition appears to stabilize the less toxic soluble forms of beta-amyloid preventing aggregation into more toxic forms. As reported previously, it appears that Dr. Chain may have kept the best flavor (of the various anti-beta amyloid monoclonal antibodies which he licensed to Big Pharma) for ILNS and that has made the small company an attractive target on multiple levels. The high late stage failure rate of Alzheimer's drugs has forced even the biggest pharmaceutical players to consider deal structures that allow them to share development risk and seperate industry sources have recently indicated that one global healthcare and pharmaceutical company (some sources are saying Abbott Laboratories) and one large biotech company whose operations are based in Europe, have expressed an interest in partnering with ILNS as it develops its own Alzheimer's drug candidates and newly announced vaccines.
As was reported in July, ILNS was in debt and struggling to survive, but shares have now turned into an attractive rebounding, bottom-priced penny play for investors and volume has gone from nearly zero to millions of shares trading daily.
Dr. Daniel Chain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Intellect, had this to say about Dr. Feuerstein's decision to join ILNS : "We are privileged and absolutely delighted that Dr. Feuerstein has taken an active interest in Intellect Neurosciences. Dr. Feuerstein's breadth and scope of experience in guiding biopharmaceutical research and translational medicine is simply unparalleled in the industry. Dr. Feuerstein is widely credited in relation to the extraordinary cardiovascular and neuroscience pipeline at Wyeth that drove the acquisition by Pfizer last year. His agreement to provide consulting services to Intellect brings a phenomenal set of skills to help the Company in its endeavors to develop innovative and safe disease-modifying drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other serious conditions."
Dr. Feuerstein commented: "I am pleased to be able to contribute my knowledge and expertise to help Intellect Neurosciences, which has an exciting pipeline and abundance of innovative ideas to develop new biopharmaceutical products. Dr. Chain impressed me by his critical, objective and balanced scientific assessments that I personally appreciate and like. I am confident that, under this type of leadership, the Company will meet its important objectives focused on the development of innovative drugs that will provide meaningful medical benefits via disease-modifying mechanisms along with maximum safety."