Top Picks 2017: Anavex Life Sciences

Tom Bishop Founder, BI Research

My Top Pick for 2017 is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company involved in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, explains small cap expert Tom Bishop, editor BI Research.

The lead drug from Anavex Life Sciences (AVXL) — called Anavex 2-73 — has just reported very promising phase 2a results in Alzheimer’s patients at the annual CTAD conference.

Test results from 25 patients are hovering near baseline after one year, or even improving for some, while the normal course is steady deterioration in cognition and activities of daily living. 

No drug currently on the market can do more than slow the deterioration for at best 6 months. 

This prompted the editor of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease to comment he has never seen any drug perform this well on Alzheimer’s patients. Patients and caregivers have requested to continue to be able to take the drug. 

One woman who could no longer play the piano is now able to play again. Another who could no longer paint is painting again and hosting an art show. Another is back on the golf course.

A fourth was able to give a very lucid, even humorous interview on Australian TV where before he would have absolutely refused. Friends and relatives of these trial participants cannot believe the improvements. 

Planning for a larger pivotal placebo controlled Phase 2/3 trial is well under way. If results are confirmed this will be a multi-billion dollar drug. 

Meanwhile A2-73 has successfully completed lab testing for Parkinson’s funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation and is now prepping for a Phase 2 trial. 

In addition, A2-73 has attracted the interest of Biogen (BIIB), which is conducting lab testing for possible use against MS. 

The company is also preparing a Phase 2 placebo controlled trial testing A2-73 on Rett Syndrome. In short, 2017 should be an exciting year.

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