Special Report: Early stage biotech NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals is developing peptide-based compounds that may prevent neurodegeneration and stimulate neuroregeneration.

While its lead drug candidate EmtinB has yet to be tested on humans, Western Australia-based NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:NSB) is excited about its possible broad therapeutic potential.

The novel lab-created compound is modelled on a regenerative protein called human metallothionein (MT-II) that inhibits cell death and mediates neuroinflammation.

NeuroScientific non-executive chairman Brian Leedman believes it could be a “blockbuster drug” used to treat everything from Alzheimer’s disease to glaucoma to multiple sclerosis, by effectively slowing down the death of dying cells and regenerating damaged ones.

EmtinB has already shown significant results slowing cognitive decline in mice genetically engineered to be predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as treating glaucoma in pig model.

Leedman says pigs were chosen because an intraocular pressure pig model is considered the closest experiment to replicating glaucoma in humans.

While there’s no practical way to test a pig’s vision, the pigs were euthanized and their eyes dissected, and it was found that the treatment had penetrated to the back of their eye, where the optic nerve is located and prevented nerve degeneration.

Leedman calls it an “breakthrough result”

Phase 1 clinical trial set for Q1 2020

Human trials are up next, with a Phase 1 ocular study scheduled to be conducted early next year in Australia on 10 to 20 patients.

Because EmtinB treatment will be localized to the eyes, it is considered safer than an experimental treatment that might be, say, taken in pill form. As such, NeuroScientific will be able to test EmtinB on patients with glaucoma, rather than simply healthy volunteers.

“That is a big advantage, because it allows us to show both safety and efficacy in your Phase 1 study,”  Leedman said.

Typically Phase 1 studies just test for safety, and an efficacy trials come next.

This will be important for establishing newsflow out of the company, and hopefully grabbing the attention not just of investors, but Big Pharma as well.

That trial will probably take about six months, Leedman said.

Listed in 2018

As previously reported, NeuroScientific listed on the ASX in 2018 following a $6 million IPO.

The company is funded through to completion of the Phase 1 safety and tolerability studies.

This article was developed in collaboration with NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.