ATH 33.3% 4.0¢ alterity therapeutics limited

prana soars as trial gets go-ahead

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    Nice candle and volume, $1.00 not far away

    Prana soars as trial gets go-ahead
    August 6 2003
    By Sue Cant

    Shares in Prana Biotechnology leapt 13¢, or almost 22 per cent, to 73¢ yesterday on news that the company would hold clinical trials next year on a proprietary drug compound to treat Alzheimer's disease.

    The jump, on a much higher than normal volume of 1.07 million shares, took the stock to its highest price since it hit a low of 43.5¢ in May following a plunge from $2.35 last September.

    The company says the compound, which can be taken in tablet form, shows the best potential yet for treating the disease, which attacks brain cells.

    "We have recognised that to be truly attractive to big pharmaceutical companies and investors we needed proprietary compounds," chief operating officer Ross Murdoch said yesterday.

    Prana completed Phase II clinical trials last year on a molecule known as PBT-1, which has inhibited the progression of the disease in human trials. However, a dispute has arisen over who invented it.

    Dr Murdoch said the new compound, PBT-2, had proved superior in testing because it was able to permeate the blood-brain barrier and could be digested in tablet form.

    "This is a major milestone and is the result of an impressive in-house medicinal chemistry team effort," he said.

    The PBT-2 molecule adds to a library of proprietary metal compounds that the company hopes will target Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

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