At the same time, we are developing a powerful new approach to drug development through our One protein target, one modulator, many therapeutic applications. We are also developing a combinatoric approach to develop new therapeutics from previously approved drugs. Since the inception of the company, Alion has clearly demonstrated the "proof of concept" for our approach and programs. In planning Alion's progress, great emphasis has been placed on the mitigation of failure by maintaining several programs in the development of CNS disease therapeutics. For more information regarding our approaches to drug discovery and development, please contact Allan Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the very first attempts to develop or identify treatments for human disease, failure has been an all too constant companion and unfortunately, even in the 21st century, vast cost and disappointment remain constant companions.
Fundamental failure in the development of new therapeutics can be attributed to our lack of knowledge of human biology and very deeply rooted prejudices that lie at the basis of the approach. Recent analysis of biological studies which form the basis of a therapeutic advance, shows that less than 20% of such experiments can be replicated. Effect of therapeutic leads in animal models, that have proven time and time again to be completely irrelevant with respect to human efficacy, remain the basis upon which industry chooses to proceed with a given molecule. Entire treaties can be written about the false leads provided by high through-put cell based screening. Combinatorial chemistry, the human genomics program, gene therapy and other “break-through” approaches have all had some success in a limited sense, but the combined effect has produced no more than a handful of therapeutics on a worldwide basis in any given year. When new cancer therapeutics, that only extends a patient’s lifespan by a few months, are hailed as breakthroughs, then much needs to be done, as surely such “success” should be considered unacceptable.
If truly effective therapeutics to treat human diseases are to be developed at an increased rate and at much lower cost, fundamental changes must be made. Surely, lead molecules that have demonstrated acceptable safety and ADMEtox profiles can proceed to small human trials without the wasted years of “proof of efficacy” in yet another immaterial animal model of a given disease? Unfortunately, in the light of vested interests, it is unlikely that the time wasting testing of efficacy in animal models will be a thing of the past, anytime soon.
In the absence of an extensive understanding of the biology of a disease, an iterative approach to modulating certain targets is the only course of action. Iterative approaches and failure are certainly acceptable, provided that they are rapid and inexpensive. Biology does not readily lend itself to the speedy discovery of therapeutic leads. However, computational chemistry and biophysical methods to find appropriate lead molecules is rational, inexpensive and swift. Once identified, several orthogonal in vitro biological assays may be employed with reasonable confidence that observed effects of the lead molecules are a consequence of interaction with the target and not a result of nonspecific, off-target effects.
Alion is attempting to reduce the cost of pharmaceutical drug development and if the “proof of the pudding” is in the eating, then to date our approach has proven to be efficient in terms of cost and time, by any measure.
Alion develops therapeutics to treat Central Nervous System disorders and cancers. We are developing a pipeline of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other CNS diseases.
Alion’s proprietary techniques, computational chemistry, can find small molecules that modulate protein-protein interactions and ion channels.
Activity, or inactivity, of ion channels in humans is associated with various diseases. By controlling the functions of specific ion channels, new therapies may be developed. A multi-billion dollar market exists for human ion receptor therapeutics. Twenty-eight ion receptor drugs---that address five distinct targets---generate $12 billion in worldwide sales (Bioportfolio, 2004).
Alion has identified a number of small molecules that modulate our therapeutic targets for new Alzheimer's disease and other CNS therapeutics. We have identified six (6) Existing Therapeutics, not developed to treat Alzheimer’s disease which show great promise as a therapeutic for AD and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. Studies conducted independently of Alion, have confirmed the activity of our molecules and their potential to treat AD. The molecules have the possibility of exhibiting as many as four different mechanisms of action against the therapeutic target.
Alion is work with Duke University, the University of Toronto and New Liberty Proteomics in the evaluation of our best candidates to move into a final development program for clinical evaluation.
Alion is interested in partnering our CNS program to treat AD and other CNS diseases utilizing our extensive portfolio of molecules.
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