On July 25th, OneMedMarket's senior analyst, Christian Beck, PhD interviewed Dr. Christopher Missling, MS, PhD, MBA and CEO of Anavex Life Sciences Corp, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company currently developing novel drug candidates for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, as well as other CNS diseases and cancers. Alzheimer's is currently one of the leading challenges in healthcare, affecting approximately 5 million Americans and more than 35 million people worldwide* . According to Dr. Missling, as the average lifespan increases through improvements in other aspects of healthcare, more people will be affected by dementia. He further explained that this progress matched with the lack of improvement in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's creates a "perfect storm" situation. In light of this, Dr. Missling believes that the drug candidates created by Anavex are a possible solution for challenges that Alzheimer's and other memory-loss conditions pose. Dr. Missling and the Anavex team have determined that the best strategy for combating Alzheimer's disease is to target it at different stages. Anavex currently has four CNS drugs in its pipeline. Among these is Anavex 2-73, an orally available drug developed to treat Alzheimer's disease through potential disease modification. This drug targets the disease during a later stage by restoring the function of proteins in the brain which would otherwise cause memory loss. Anavex 2-73 successfully completed Phase I trial and was proven to be safe to use in human subjects. Efficacy trials combined with viability tests are now in the process of being planned.
Additionally, Anavex has also filed a patent on Anavex Plus, a "cocktail" of Anavex 2-73 and Donepezil, one of the top-selling drugs on the market. Dr. Missling explained that synergy between the two drugs was strong and potentiated the effects of each. Anavex Plus is poised to enter a Phase 2 program.
Dr. Missling believes that Anavex proposes substantial opportunities for potential investors because it offers an interesting and innovative perspective on a largely unmet need (Alzheimer's therapies). Currently, the company has approximately $9 million in cash with a moderate burn rate of $100,000/month, a rate expected to increase after trials begin. Anavex has 38 million outstanding shares with a market price of 28 cents and a current valuation of $12 million. Looking to the immediate future, Dr. Missling noted that upcoming milestones for Anavex include the initiation of the clinical trial and more data on how Anavex’s pipeline compounds could potentially treat ALS, Parkinson's, depression and anxieties.
*Source: World Alzheimer Report 2013