Does TauRx Drug Work by Oxidizing Tau?

In 2008, TauRx Therapeutics reported positive results from their Phase II study of Rember (which also happens to be methylene blue) in Alzheimer’s disease. In a small study, TauRx found that Rember reduced cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease by over 80 percent. Although results from the Phase II study showed that Rember worked by breaking up aggregates of tau, it was unclear how this compound was working at the molecular level to break up these aggregates. Now, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany believe that they know how this dye works to break up the tau aggregates — and even prevent the aggregation of tau in the first place. In the fall of 2012, TauRx Therapeutics announced they received approval from both the United States and Europe to test a modified version of methylene blue, called LMTX, in two Phase III studies, one in behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and one in Alzheimer’s disease. TauRx just secured an investment of $10.5 million from Dundee Corporation of Toronto to support these Phase III studies.

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