Satori Pharmaceuticals, which had been developing γ-secretase modulators for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, has closed its doors, according to a news report. Satori representatives were not available for comment. In July 2012, the company reported that their lead candidate, SPI-1865, lowered brain Aβ42 in preclinical rodent models of AD. Late last year the company found that SPI-1865 and similar compounds caused renal damage in monkeys. That unexpected side effect was apparently unrelated to γ-secretase modulation.
Last December Bristol-Myers Squibb halted development of avagacestat, a γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI), while Eli Lilly stopped development of its GSI semagacestat in 2010 (see ARF related news story and ARF news story). Other companies, including Eisai Co. Ltd., Japan; EnVivo Pharmaceuticals in Watertown, Massachusetts; and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Basel, Switzerland, are moving ahead with development of GSMs (see ARF related news story). The modulators spare Notch and other γ-secretase substrates while shifting the cleavage site on the amyloid precursor protein rather than completely blocking its processing. Researchers hope they may have a better safety profile than straight γ-secretase inhibitors (see ARF related news story).—Tom Fagan.
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