TEL-AVIV, Israel, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Neurim Pharmaceuticals announced today publication of the results from an exploratory Phase 2 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of add-on Circadin® (Prolonged Release melatonin 2mg) to standard therapy in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The study, published in the Clinical Interventions in Aging Journal, demonstrates positive effects of the drug on cognitive performance and sleep maintenance in the AD patients.
"Endogenous melatonin levels are reduced already at preclinical AD stages. Because melatonin is important for good sleep quality and because poor sleep quality has recently been linked to AD, it was important to investigate whether replenishing the missing hormone would be beneficial in AD patients and whether such effects would be related to the improvement in sleep," said Dr Tali Nir, head of clinical trials at Neurim Pharmaceuticals.
In this study, 80 patients diagnosed with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, with and without insomnia co-morbidity, receiving standard therapy (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors with or without memantine) were randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to 2 mg of Circadin® or placebo treatment nightly for 24-weeks. The paper reports that patients treated with Circadin® for 6 months had significantly better cognitive performance than those with placebo as measured by Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Mean Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale - cognition (ADAS-Cog) did not differ between groups. Sleep efficiency as measured by Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) Component 4 also improved with Circadin®. In a subgroup of patients suffering from comorbid insomnia, Circadin® treatment resulted in significant and clinically meaningful effects vs. placebo in mean IADL (p=0.032), MMSE (+1.5 vs. -3 points, p=0.0177) sleep efficiency (p=0.04), and median ADAS-Cog values (-3.5 vs. +3 points, p=0.045) . The treatment was well tolerated.
"We are very pleased with the encouraging data demonstrating efficacy and safety of add-on Circadin® for 6 months on cognitive functioning and sleep in patients with mild-moderate AD. This publication comes at an exciting time when the causal relationship between sleep disturbance and the AD-relevant accumulation of beta amyloid in brain was discovered," said Prof. Zisapel, CSO of Neurim Pharmaceuticals. "This study demonstrates the significance of good sleep quality and melatoninergic mechanisms in improving both cognition and sleep problems in Alzheimer patients and calls for further focus of this mechanism in AD treatment."
Circadin® is a novel sleep medication approved by regulatory agencies around the world for the treatment of primary insomnia in patients aged 55 and over. Approval was based on positive effects of Circadin on sleep quality, sleep induction, and daytime functioning without impairing cognitive performance.
About Neurim Pharmaceuticals:
Neurim Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is a neuroscience drug discovery and development pharma company creating drugs for brain restoration & reinforcement. Circadin®-Neurim's first approved drug, is commercially available in over 40 countries. Neurim's advanced-stage pipeline products include prolonged-release melatonin minitabs for pediatric insomnia and Piromelatine for sleep disorders and Alzheimer's Disease.
Dr. Eran Schenker