Spanish drugmaker Zeltia says that its biopharmaceutical subsidiary Neuropharma is starting clinical trials next week of NP-61, its second compound for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

The trial has been given the go-ahead by UK regulatory authorities after the firm said that proofs of concept performed in animal models show that NP-61 reduces cognitive deficits and amyloid plaque load in the brain of transgenic mice after three months of oral treatment. Regulatory toxicological studies have demonstrated good safety results and all these data suggest that NP-61 may prevent the accumulation in the brain of the amyloid plaques, the most common lesions of Alzheimer’s disease,

and reduce the cognitive and behavioural defects produced by the disease, Neuropharma added.

The latter’s general manager, Belen Sopesen, said that the Phase I trials with the new candidate comes after less than three years of preclinical development and “we are proud of having positioned a second compound in clinical development only twelve months after NP 12,” another Alzheimer’s treatment, went into the clinic. “We are happy with our results and excited about the expectations that these two molecules have generated in the fight against Alzheimer’s,” she added.