Oligomerix has received a $3.35m grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) unit National Institute on Aging to fund the clinical development of its lead candidate, OLX-07010, for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). 

The company intends to commence a Phase Ia clinical trial of OLX-07010 in healthy subjects this year.

The randomised, double-blind, three-part trial will analyse the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single, multiple ascending doses as well as a single dose of OLX-07010 in healthy elderly subjects.

Such trials are anticipated to facilitate selecting the dosage of the therapy for further proof-of-concept studies in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

An oral tau self-association small molecule inhibitor, OLX-07010 acts on the beginning of the tau aggregation cascade. 

This cascade is a process deemed to be vital for the development of AD, as well as various other neurodegenerative ailments. 

In various animal models of tau-mediated neurodegeneration, the therapy showed efficacy.

Furthermore, the preclinical safety studies of OLX-07010 have concluded. 

In June this year, the company raised $2.7m in an extension of its Series B financing round to further support preclinical and clinical development of its tau self-association inhibitor portfolio.

The funds will also be used for corporate reorganisation to move into clinical development and first-in-human testing.

Oligomerix CEO and head of discovery James Moe said: “Key requirements for treating early-stage AD include safe, efficacious, and cost-effective therapeutic interventions. 

“Based on our preliminary results, this oral small molecule, CNS drug-like lead significantly fulfils these requirements. 

“OLX-07010 is a highly differentiated tau self-association inhibitor targeting the beginning of the tau aggregation cascade.”

The company focuses on developing small molecule therapies that act on tau for rare neurodegenerative and Alzheimer’s diseases.