John Sigurd Mjøen Svendsen
PHARMASUM THERAPEUTICS AS
Protein kinase inhibitors for dementia
Alzheimer's disease & other dementias
The cost of caring for and nursing patients with dementia is currently more than 1% of the global GDP. More than 80% of older people in nursing homes are living with dementia and the number of dementia patients requiring nursing is expected to triple within 2050 (Alzheimers Disease International). Despite 30 years of intense research, any cure for Alzheimers disease seems still to be lingering in the horizon. The worrying fact is that we seem to be as far from the goal of curing AD as we were at the outset 30 years ago. Although the beta-amyloid plaque hypothesis has been the mainstay in AD research since it was proposed, it seems now evident that AD is a much more complex disease with a more multifaceted aetiology than anticipated 30 years ago. New targets to focus our efforts on are emerging, and one of these, the protein kinase DYRK1A, is now rapidly moving into prominence. DYRK1A is a protein kinase that is important for the normal development of the brain. Recently, it has been found to be dysregulated in a number of dementias such as AD and dementia in Parkinson’s disease. Pharmasum Therapeutics AS have discovered novel and unusually selective inhibitors for DYRK1A, that form the basis of an ongoing R&D program. The research brings together an internationally experienced team, based at the University of Tromsø, with neurosciences R&D experts based in UK and USA. The main overarching goal of the R&D program is to develop a medicine for halting or slowing the progression of dementia.