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Athira Pharma Announces Publication of Fosgonimeton Preclinical Results in Neurotherapeutics

PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
December 21, 2022 GMT

BOTHELL, Wash., Dec. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athira Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHA), a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced the publication of preclinical data demonstrating the neuroprotective, neurotrophic and procognitive effects of fosgonimeton (ATH-1017) in preclinical models. The article titled, “Fosgonimeton, a Novel Positive Modulator of the HGF/MET System, Promotes Neurotrophic and Procognitive Effects in Models of Dementia,” was published online on December 20, 2022 in the peer-reviewed journal, Neurotherapeutics.

“This publication adds to the growing body of preclinical evidence demonstrating that enhancing the HGF/MET neurotrophic system with fosgonimeton may have therapeutic benefit for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases,” said Kevin Church, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Research of Athira Pharma. “These data demonstrate that treatment with fosgonimeton or its active metabolite, fosgo-AM, protects cortical neurons challenged with neurotoxic insults that mimic critical aspects of neurodegeneration. In addition, these data highlight the ability of fosgonimeton to improve learning and memory in preclinical models of cognitive impairment.”

In the publication, study authors concluded that treatment with fosgonimeton or fosgo-AM:

  • Promotes the activation of the HGF/MET system in vitro and stimulates critical neurotrophic and neuroprotective pathways.
  • Enhances synaptogenesis, synaptic strength, and neurite outgrowth in hippocampal neurons.
  • Protects cortical neurons challenged with neurotoxic insults that contribute to neurodegeneration, including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and excitotoxicity.
  • Improves cognitive performance in models of cognitive deficits, including a scopolamine-induced amnesia model in rats and in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammatory model of dementia in mice.

“The data reported in the peer-reviewed publication suggest that fosgonimeton could protect against several common pathophysiologies seen in dementia and induce neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects, which further supports the ongoing clinical development of fosgonimeton in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease,” said Mark Litton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Athira Pharma. “These results, in combination with other recently reported data, strengthen our confidence in the potential for neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of enhancing the HGF/MET neurotrophic system.”

The article is available on the Neurotherapeutics website and on the Scientific Publications & Presentations page of the company’s website at www.athira.com.

About Fosgonimeton
Fosgonimeton is a small molecule designed to enhance the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET, an endogenous repair mechanism for a healthy nervous system. The function of the HGF/MET neurotrophic system may be impaired in conditions of neurodegeneration. Targeting the protection and repair of neural networks, fosgonimeton has disease-modifying potential to address a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

About Athira Pharma, Inc.
Athira Pharma, Inc., headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration. Athira aims to provide rapid cognitive improvement and alter the course of neurological diseases with its novel mechanism of action. Athira is currently advancing its pipeline therapeutic candidates targeting the HGF/MET neurotrophic system for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, Dementia with Lewy bodies and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). For more information, visit  www.athira.com. You can also follow Athira on  FacebookLinkedIn  and @athirapharma on  Twitter  and  Instagram.

Forward-Looking Statements
This communication contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical fact and include statements regarding a product candidate as a potential treatment for neurological diseases; Athira’s platform technology and potential therapies; future development plans; clinical and regulatory objectives and the timing thereof; expectations regarding the potential efficacy and commercial potential of Athira’s product candidates; and Athira’s ability to advance its product candidates into later stages of development. Forward-looking statements generally include statements that are predictive in nature and depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, and include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “on track,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “believe,” “intend,” “pursue,” “continue,” “potential” and other similar expressions, among others. Any forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the data for our product candidates from our preclinical and clinical trials not supporting the safety, efficacy and tolerability of our product candidates; cessation or delay of Athira’s development of product candidates may occur; future potential regulatory milestones for product candidates, including those related to current and planned clinical studies, may be insufficient to support regulatory submissions or approval; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Athira’s business, research and clinical development plans and timelines, and the regulatory process for Athira product candidates; Athira may not be able to recruit sufficient patients for its clinical trials; the outcome of legal proceedings that have been or may in the future be instituted against us and certain of our directors and officers; clinical trials may not demonstrate safety and efficacy of any of Athira’s product candidates; possible negative interactions of Athira’s product candidates with other treatments; Athira’s assumptions regarding the sufficiency of its cash, cash equivalents and investments to fund its planned operations may be incorrect; adverse conditions in the general domestic and global economic markets; the impact of competition; regulatory agencies may be delayed in reviewing, commenting on or approving any of Athira’s clinical development plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which could further delay development timelines; the impact of expanded product development and clinical activities on operating expenses; the impact of new or changing laws and regulations; as well as the other risks detailed in Athira’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and Athira undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements. Athira may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in its forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements.

Investor & Media Contact
Julie Rathbun
Athira Pharma
Julie.rathbun@athira.com
206-769-9219