Cortexyme's Alzheimer's treatment fails to meet main goals in study

  • The drug, atuzaginstat, is designed to target the P. gingivalis bacteria found in the brain of patients suffering from the memory robbing disease.
  • The mid-to-late stage study tested 643 patients and did not meet statistical significance in its goals, according to two scales measuring disease progression.

Cortexyme Inc (CRTX.O) said on Tuesday its experimental oral pill failed to meet the main goals of improving cognitive and functional abilities in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease in a study.

The drug, atuzaginstat, is designed to target the P. gingivalis bacteria found in the brain of patients suffering from the memory robbing disease.

The mid-to-late stage study tested 643 patients and did not meet statistical significance in its goals, according to two scales measuring disease progression.

In a group of patients with the bacteria detected in their saliva, the drug showed 57% slowing of cognitive decline on a commonly used test but failed to show significant benefits on another scale, which is generally filled out by a patient's caregiver.

However, Cortexyme said the pill led to a reduction in the bacteria, which was associated with some improved outcomes at the end of the treatment period under the study. It plans to report the data to regulators to determine the path forward for the drug

Alzheimer's treatments have come into focus since the U.S. health regulator approved Biogen's (BIIB.O) controversial drug Aduhelm in June. The drug is used to treat early stages of the disease.

"There's nothing that is approved for treating the really sick patients with mild-to-moderate disease, which is where we've shown an effect," said Cortexyme's chief medical officer Michael Detke.