Alpha Cognition, Inc. is a Vancouver-based biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of innovative, product candidates targeting neurological diseases, including rare disorders. We embarked on research programs to find alternative ways of treating Alzheimer’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. To date, both are very serious conditions that have major unmet medical needs.
Our Company has offices in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) and West Palm Beach, Florida (USA) and laboratory operations are on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that is the cause of 60–80% of cases of dementia. The most common symptom is difficulty remembering recent events. As the disease progresses, the symptoms worsen to include problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, loss of motivation, and behavioral issues. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years. In the latest stages of the disease, patients become fully dependent on caregivers, seriously impacting the quality of life of the patient and their families. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Currently approved drugs focus on improving cognitive function, behavior, and activities of daily living.
Alzheimer’s disease is associated with a decrease in the concentration of a neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that allows signals to be transmitted between nerve cells and other cells, such as muscle. Acetylcholine is a critical neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the normal function of the brain and the body. In the brain, it effects learning, memory, and other cognitive functions. Acetylcholine is naturally metabolized by a class of proteins called acetylcholine esterase (AChE). Blocking this enzyme with a “cholinesterase inhibitor” increases the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain, and this increase may improve memory and cognitive function. Several acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) have been approved for use over the past 20 years, and have shown to be effective in the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. However, because acetylcholine impacts other parts of the body other than the brain, AChEIs are associated with side effects such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Alpha Cognition is developing ALPHA-1062, which is an AChEI that has been specifically designed to significantly reduce the side effects observed with the other acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that causes the death of neurons (brain cells) controlling voluntary muscles (motor neurons). ALS usually begins with weakness in the arms or legs, or with difficulty speaking or swallowing. As the disease progresses, the patient experiences muscle stiffness, spasms, weakness, and loss of muscle mass. Most patients eventually lose the ability to walk, to use their hands, speak, swallow, and breathe. The average survival from onset to death is approximately two to four years, although some patients survive for decades. There is no known cure for ALS, and the few treatments available focus on symptoms alone.
Our company is developing potential new biologic candidates (Alpha-0600 series) based on in vitro and in vivo research demonstrating specific protection of motor neurons and improved neuronal function. This potential product could be revolutionary in the treatment of this devastating disease.