IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 5794: The Small Molecule GAL-201 Efficiently Detoxifies Soluble Amyloid β Oligomers: New Approach towards Oral Disease-Modifying Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Soluble amyloid β (Aβ) oligomers have been shown to be highly toxic to neurons and are considered to be a major cause of the neurodegeneration underlying Alzheimer’s disease (AD). That makes soluble Aβ oligomers a promising drug target. In addition to eliminating these toxic species from the patients’ brain with antibody-based drugs, a new class of drugs is emerging, namely Aβ aggregation inhibitors or modulators, which aim to stop the formation of toxic Aβ oligomers at the source. Here, pharmacological data of the novel Aβ aggregation modulator GAL-201 are presented. This small molecule (288.34 g/mol) exhibits high binding affinity to misfolded Aβ1-42 monomers (KD = 2.5 ± 0.6 nM). Pharmacokinetic studies in rats using brain microdialysis are supportive of its oral bioavailability. The Aβ oligomer detoxifying potential of GAL-201 has been demonstrated by means of single cell recordings in isolated hippocampal neurons (perforated patch experiments) as well as in vitro and in vivo extracellular monitoring of long-term potentiation (LTP, in rat transverse hippocampal slices), a cellular correlate for synaptic plasticity. Upon preincubation, GAL-201 efficiently prevented the detrimental effect on LTP mediated by Aβ1-42 oligomers. Furthermore, the potential to completely reverse an already established neurotoxic process could also be demonstrated. Of particular note in this context is the self-propagating detoxification potential of GAL-201, leading to a neutralization of Aβ oligomer toxicity even if GAL-201 has been stepwise removed from the medium (serial dilution), likely due to prion-like conformational changes in Aβ1-42 monomer aggregates (trigger effect). The authors conclude that the data presented strongly support the further development of GAL-201 as a novel, orally available AD treatment with potentially superior clinical profile.