Critical appraisal of the role of davunetide in the treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy

Michael Gold, Stefan Lorenzl, Alistair J Stewart, Bruce H Morimoto, David Williams, Illana Gozes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a rare neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of tau protein aggregates in the basal ganglia, brainstem and cerebral cortex leading to rapid disease progression and death. The neurofibrillary tangles that define the neuropathology of PSP are comprised of aggregated 4R tau and show a well-defined distribution. Classically, PSP is diagnosed by symptoms that include progressive gait disturbance, early falls, vertical ophthalmoparesis, akinetic-rigid features, prominent bulbar dysfunction and fronto-subcortical dementia. There are currently no effective therapies for the treatment of this rapidly degenerating and debilitating disease. Davunetide is a novel neuroprotective peptide that is thought to impact neuronal integrity and cell survival through the stabilization of microtubules. Preclinical activity in models of tauopathy has been translated to clinical studies, demonstrating pharmacologic activity that has supported further development. Davunetide s efficacy and tolerability are being tested in a placebo-controlled study in PSP patients, making it the most advanced drug candidate in this indication. This review examines the disease characteristics of PSP, the rationale for treating PSP with davunetide and assesses some of the challenges of clinical trials in this patient population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85 - 93
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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