Reykjavik, ICELAND, October 3, 2008 – deCODE genetics (Nasdaq:DCGN) today announced the filing of an investigational new drug (IND) application for DG071, the company’s novel small-molecule modulator of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The compound is being developed as a new and potentially safer means of targeting PDE4 to combat memory loss and cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders in which neural signaling is reduced or impaired. In animal models, DG071 has been shown to significantly improve learning and long- and short-term memory at doses that offer a wide margin for safety and tolerability. The compound has the potential to eliminate the nausea that limits the utility of previous PDE4 inhibitors. deCODE plans to advance the clinical development of DG071 with a strategic partner.
“This compound has exciting therapeutic potential and reflects the exceptional capabilities of our drug discovery and structural biology groups. Our teams used protein crytallography to determine the structure of domains that regulate the enzymatic activity of PDE4, and in DG071 discovered a compound that binds to the PDE4 regulatory domain and effectively modulates the activity of the enzyme. DG071 has been shown in several animal models to potently and specifically improve cognitive function, and features a much wider safety and tolerability profile than existing PDE4 inhibitors. This is encouraging, as many of the amyloid-busting therapeutics currently entering clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease have the potential to slow or stop progression of the disease but will not reverse the destruction of neurons. Our expectation is that DG071 will allow the remaining neurons to store and retrieve memories more efficiently. DG071 could be useful in the treatment not only of Alzheimer’s disease, but might also have benefit in Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, anxiety, ADHD and depression,” said Dr. Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE.
DG071 is a novel, potent and selective PDE4D modulator discovered by deCODE’s chemistry group. First and second generation PDE4 inhibitors such as rolipram, cilomilast, and roflumilast caused significant side effects, including nausea and vomiting, at the therapeutic doses in human clinical trials. Such side effects severely limit the utility of these earlier compounds. Data generated at deCODE suggest that the observed side effects were closely correlated with the binding of these molecules in the PDE4 enzymatic active site competitively with cAMP. As cAMP is of critical importance to neuronal signalling, the goal of deCODE’s program has been to discover compounds that would modulate PDE4 activity via an allosteric mechanism to improve safety and tolerability.
Towards this goal, the deCODE biostructures team solved multiple novel co-crystal structures of PDE4D & PDE4B containing regulatory domains with bound ligands. Those structures allowed the deCODE chemistry team to identify a novel binding site for allosteric modulators in the PDE4 regulatory domain. Binding of an allosteric modulator at that site is non-competitive with cAMP. DG071 has been shown in animal models to improve cognitive function with benefit similar to that of cholinesterase inhibitors such as donepezil that currently are a mainstay of therapy for memory loss in early Alzheimer’s disease, yet also benefiting long term memory function in animal tests where the cholinesterase inhibitors are ineffective.
deCODE has developed a broad proprietary platform for PDE4 modulators that the company is applying to discover compounds with potential utility for the treatment of over-active bladder, inflammatory and respiratory diseases.
deCODE is a biopharmaceutical company applying its discoveries in human genetics to the development of diagnostics and drugs for common diseases. deCODE is a global leader in gene discovery — our population approach and resources have enabled us to isolate key genes contributing to major public health challenges from cardiovascular disease to cancer, genes that are providing us with drug targets rooted in the basic biology of disease. Through its CLIA-registered laboratory, deCODE is offering a growing range of DNA-based tests for gauging risk and empowering prevention of common diseases, including deCODE T2™ for type 2 diabetes; deCODE AF™ for atrial fibrillation and stroke; deCODE MI™ for heart attack; deCODE ProCa™ for prostate cancer; deCODE Glaucoma™ for a major type of glaucoma; and deCODE BreastCancer™ for the common forms of breast cancer. deCODE is delivering on the promise of the new genetics.SM Visit us on the web at www.decode.com; on our diagnostics site at www.decodediagnostics.com; for our pioneering personal genome analysis service, integrating the genetic variants included in these tests and those linked to another twenty common diseases, at www.decodeme.com; and on our blog at www.decodeyou.com.
About deCODE chemistry & biostructures
deCODE chemistry, Inc. & deCODE biostructures, Inc., are wholly-owned subsidiaries of deCODE genetics providing contract research services to pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and government facilities. deCODE chemistry & biostructures takes a collaborative approach to pharmaceutical research services through a seamless integration of chemistry and biology capabilities including protein production, multifaceted structural studies, lead identification, ex vivo and in vivo assays, cGMP manufacturing and regulatory capabilities which furnishes accelerated timelines for moving molecules from the concept and into the clinic. Visit deCODE chemistry & biostructures on the web at www.decodechembio.com.
Any statements contained in this presentation that relate to future plans, events or performance are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, and the timing of events, to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, those relating to our ability to obtain financing and to form collaborative relationships, uncertainty regarding potential future deterioration in the market for auction rate securities which could result in additional permanent impairment charges, our ability to develop and market diagnostic products, the level of third party reimbursement for our products, risks related to preclinical and clinical development of pharmaceutical products, including the identification of compounds and the completion of clinical trials, the effect of government regulation and the regulatory approval processes, market acceptance, our ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights for our products, dependence on collaborative relationships, the effect of competitive products, industry trends and other risks identified in deCODE’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the risk factors identified in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any updates to those risk factors filed from time to time in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. deCODE undertakes no obligation to update or alter these forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise..