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The Rember Molecule

Methylthioninium Chloride


See Also: Drugs for Alzheimer's Disease

Rember is an investigational drug being developed by startup TauRx Therapeutics that has been shown in early clinical trials to be an inhibitor of Tau protein aggregation.[1][2] One active ingredient is methylthioninium chloride (MTC), a form of methylene blue.[3] The drug is of potential interest for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Its development appears to be based on claim 7 of US patent 6953794 Inhibition of Tau-Tau Association. TauRx Therapeutics has suggested that the mechanism by which methylene blue might delay or reverse neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease is as an inhibitor of Tau protein aggregation. While methylene blue arguably has an effect on Tau aggregation, it also has an effect on mitochondrial function which is likely to play an important role. In vitro studies suggest that methylene blue might be an effective remedy for both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease by enhancing key mitochondrial biochemical pathways. It can disinhibit and increase complex IV, whose inhibition correlates with Alzheimer's disease. [4]

2008 clinical trial results

This is an unprecedented result in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. We have demonstrated for the first time that it may possible to arrest the progression of this disease by targeting the tangles which are highly correlated with the disease.
Claude M. Wischik
CEO, TauRx Pharmaceutical [5]

The University of Aberdeen held a Phase IIb clinical trial[6][5] on 321 people with mild Alzheimer's disease in the United Kingdom and Singapore and found that taking the drug 3 times a day over a period of 50 weeks slows down the development of Alzheimer's disease by about 81%. [7]

The patients were split into four groups: one group taking a dose of 30mg, another taking a dose of 60mg, a third taking a dose of 100mg and the fourth taking a placebo. The 60mg dosage gave the best results, giving an 81% reduction in mental degression compared to those on the placebo. Only those on the placebo experienced a decline in mental function.

In larger Phase 3 trial is planned for 2009 with an idea to see whether Rember can prevent the formation of the disease in the first place.[3] TauRx are also looking into starting a trial of the drug on patients suffering from Parkinson's disease; as Rember also has effects on the synuclein fibres in the brain.[8]If the results of the two trials correlate then it is anticipated that the drug could be on the market by 2012.[5]Debate began soon after the announcement over the funding of the drug under the UK's National Health Service [9]. The initial press release from TauRx has been characterized as "very aggressively worded".[10] A lengthy article at the Alzheimer Research Forum provoked further comments.[11]

See also


  1. "Experimental Alzheimer's drug shows early promise". Associated Press via azcentral.com. 2008-07-29. http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/07/29/20080729alzheimer-drugs0729-ON.html.
  2. Marchione, Marilynn (2008-07-30). "Experimental Alzheimer's drug shows early promise". Associated Press. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jK3o2IH-4QHTz4i5e9OlzzFCA2pgD927P6QO0.
  3. Wilkinson, Emma (2008-07-29). "Alzheimer's drug 'halts' decline". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7525115.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  4. Atamna H, Nguyen A, Schultz C, Boyle K, Newberry J, Kato H, Ames BN (March 2008). "Methylene blue delays cellular senescence and enhances key mitochondrial biochemical pathways". Faseb J. 22 (3): 703-12. doi:10.1096/fj.07-9610com. PMID 17928358. 
  5. TauRx Therapeutics, University of Aberdeen (2008-07-29). "New treatment halts progress of Alzheimer's disease". University of Aberdeen. http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mediareleases/release.php?id=1444.
  6. Alzheimer's Association (2008-07-29). "Four Alzheimer's Clinical Trials Address a Variety of Treatment Targets - Amyloid, Tau, Synapse Formation". Press release. http://www.alz.org/icad/_release_icad_072908_130pm_trials.asp. 
  7. Rose, David (2008-07-30). "New drug Rember brings 'unprecedented' Alzheimer’s treatment advance". The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article4425218.ece.
  8. "TauRx- Alzheimer's disease". TauRx Therapeutics Ltd.. http://www.taurx.com/.
  9. "Lyndsay Moss: Alzheimer's 'wonder drug' fuels funds debate". The Scotsman. 2008-07-31. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/health/Lyndsay-Moss-Alzheimer39s-39wonder-drug39.4342177.jp. 
  10. David Ewing Duncan. "Desperate for a cure". Portfolio.com. http://www.portfolio.com/views/columns/natural-selection/2008/08/13/Advances-in-Alzheimer-Treatments?page=0. 
  11. Gabrielle Strobel (2008-08-07). "Chicago: Out of the Blue—A Tau-based Treatment for AD?". Alzheimer Research Forum. http://www.alzforum.org/new/detail.asp?id=1892.


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