Priavoid has built a pipeline that comprises highly innovative compounds at different stages of pharmaceutical development.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
AD, also referred to simply as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time. It was first described by, and later named after, German psychiatrist and pathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906. AD is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is the impairment in remembering recent events (short-term memory loss). The symptoms progress over time, include the loss of ability to respond to the environment, to control own movements and ultimately lead to death. To date, no treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms. In 2015, approximately 29.8 million patients worldwide suffered from AD resulting in about 1.1 million premature mortalities. In developed countries, AD is a tremendous burden for health care systems and insurances.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and motor neurone disease (MND), is a specific disease that causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles. Some also use the term motor neuron disease for a group of conditions of which ALS is the most common. Descriptions of the disease date back to at least 1824 by Charles Bell. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing. No cure for ALS is known. A medication called riluzole may extend life by about two to three months. ALS became well known worldwide when physicist Stephen Hawking, diagnosed in 1963 and expected to die within two years, became famous by his research in cosmology.
Tauopathies are a class of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the pathological aggregation of tau protein in neurofibrillary or gliofibrillary tangles in the human brain. Tangles are formed by hyperphosphorylation of a microtubule-associated protein known as tau, causing it to aggregate in an insoluble form. The precise mechanism of tangle formation is not completely understood, and it is still controversial as to whether tangles are a primary causative factor in the disease or play a more peripheral role. Neurofibrillary tangles were first described by Alois Alzheimer in one of his patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which is considered a secondary tauopathy. Huntington’s disease is the most recently described tauopathy.
Huntington’s Disease (HD)
HD, also known as Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in death of brain cells. The first likely documentation of the disease by Charles Oscar Waters dates from 1841. In 1872 the condition was further described in detail by George Huntington and named in memory of his work. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental impairments. A general lack of coordination and an unsteady gait often follow. As the disease advances, uncoordinated, jerky body movements become more apparent. There is no cure for HD. Full-time care is required in later stages of the disease.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
PD is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. The disease is named after the English surgeon James Parkinson, who published the first detailed description in “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy”, in 1817. The symptoms generally develop slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious impairments are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Initial treatment is typically with the anti-Parkinson medication L-DOPA (levodopa), with dopamine agonists being used once levodopa becomes less effective. In 2015, PD affected 6.2 million people and resulted in about 117,400 deaths globally. Patients with parkinsonism who have increased the public’s awareness of the condition include actor Michael J. Fox, Olympic cyclist Davis Phinney, and late professional boxer Muhammad Ali.
Pain sensations are typically a result of an acute injury or illness. Neuropathic pain, however, is a chronic pain condition affecting the somatosensory nervous system, where the body just sends pain signals to the brain in an unprompted way e.g. as a symptom or treatment complication of diseases and conditions such as multiple sclerosis, several forms of cancer and diabetes.
The updated recommendations from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) for the treatment of neuropathic pain include serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, Gabapentinoids (first-line), Capsaicin, Lidocaine, Tramadol (second-line), strong opioids (third-line) and intrathecal injections (Prialt) in case previously listed treatment options remain unsuccessful. Although nervous system mechanisms underlying chronic neuropathic pain have been elicited via research in animals and humans, all current therapies display modest efficacy and/or severe side effects.