Alzheimer’s patients wanted for next stage of promising drug trial

A large-scale international drug trial is open now to applications from people around Australia living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Anavex 2-73 is a disease-modifying therapy that aims to slow cognitive decline and thus significantly reduce deaths caused by dementia. The Phase III programme is now ready to begin after promising results in an earlier Australian study which achieved significant cognitive improvement in some patients – an outcome previously unheard of in dementia studies.

Associate Professor Stephen Macfarlane, Head of HammondCare Clinical Services, is the principal investigator of the trial.

“We’re still not sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but the prevailing theory is the brain is damaged by a build-up of toxic proteins,” A/Prof Macfarlane said.

“There have been many failed trials attempting to remove these proteins or prevent them being produced.

“The theory behind Anavex 2-73 is that it targets a receptor that, when activated, leads to the removal of these abnormal proteins from brain cells.”

The Phase II trial of the drug, featuring 32 patients across Victoria, found their mini mental state exam (MMSE) score remained essentially unchanged after 18 months. The degree of decline expected in a person at a similar stage of Alzheimer’s disease is about two MMSE points per year.

Six of the patients also improved their MMSE scores significantly – an unprecedented outcome in Alzheimer’s treatment. This trial was extended from an initial six months to five years on the basis of the strength of the results and at the request of trial participants and their carers.

Researchers are now ready to begin a larger trial of 450 patients across 12 sites nationally. The trial will run for a minimum of 12 months.

Those who wish to be part of the study should visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (02) 8437 7355.

Media inquiries: To request an interview with a researcher or patient, please contact Harrison Vesey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 0418 222 107.