Science / Neurodegeneration Diseases

Insulin resistance in peripheral tissue is a hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Accumulating evidence suggests that insulin resistance also develops in the brains of persons having Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, multiple avenues of research including epidemiology, molecular genetics and cell biology have identified links between Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Medical research is focusing on the potential role played by mitochondrial dysfunction in the development and progression of these increasingly prevalent neurodegenerative disorders.

In 2013, 5.2 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with the disease is projected to be nearly 14 million. An estimated 1 million Americans currently live with Parkinson’s disease, and the prevalence of the disease is expected to increase substantially in the next 20 years due to the aging of the population.

The connection between neurodegeneration and metabolic disease is of keen interest to MSDC – particularly, defects in mitochondria and oxidative metabolism. In addition to its potential for treating diabetes, MSDC-0160 appears to be suitable for uptake into the brain and possibly could treat neurodegenerative diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction like Alzheimer’s disease and possibly Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago completed a Phase 2a trial of MSDC-0160 in patients diagnosed with mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Funding for this trial was provided by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation.