Groton, CT, April 10, 2023 – Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., a private drug discovery and development company advancing novel cerebroprotective therapeutics for patients with brain injuries, today announced that Theodore Liston, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Astrocyte, received the 2022 Progress and Innovation Award from the journal Stroke for authoring one of the journal’s top three publications in 2022. The Innovation and Progress Award recognizes research that demonstrates “a new approach, new methodology, new interpretation of existing data, or new data with far-reaching implications.”
Dr. Liston’s manuscript, Adenosine A1R/A3R (Adenosine A1 and A3 Receptor) Agonist AST-004 Reduces Brain Infarction in a Nonhuman Primate Model of Stroke, demonstrates that Astrocyte’s proprietary AST-004 drug candidate targeting adenosine A1/A3 receptors is significantly efficacious in a primate model of ischemic stroke designed to simulate a human stroke Phase 2 trial. The study showed compelling benefits for AST-004 treatment slowing stroke lesion growth, preserving at risk penumbra tissue, and substantially reducing the amount of brain tissue lost to the stroke. The research included novel pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling enabling estimates of a recommended human dose.
“This research represents the first demonstration in primates that activation of specific adenosine receptors leads to significant efficacy in saving brain tissue at risk during a stroke.” remarked Dr. Liston. “This research was a truly international team effort throughout the design, planning, conduct, data analysis and publication, much of which happened during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will propel AST-004 into Phase 2 clinical studies.”
An interview with Dr. Liston regarding the research is available online conducted by Sarah Y. Song, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor in the Section of Cerebrovascular Disease in the Department of Neurological Sciences at Rush University Medical Center, and Stroke Digital Media Editor.
The Progress and Innovation Award is given to the publication’s first author and is comprised of a cash prize and a trophy. The award is made possible by funding from the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association.
Co-authors of the publication include Aldric Hama, Ph.D.; Johannes Boltze, M.D., Ph.D.; Russell B. Poe, Ph.D.; Takahiro Natsume, Ph.D.; Ikuo Hayashi, Ph.D.; Hiroyuki Takamatsu, Ph.D.; William S. Korinek, Ph.D.; and James D. Lechleiter, Ph.D., representing Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals and the University of Texas Health San Antonio in the USA, Hamamatsu Pharma Research in Japan, and the University of Warwick in the UK.
“The ongoing excitement of endovascular reperfusion has heralded a resurgence of scientific development aimed at improving acute stroke outcomes. The prestigious awarding of this year’s Stroke Progress & Innovation prize to Dr. Liston’s paper in Stroke, the flagship cerebrovascular journal of the American Heart Association, embodies this enthusiasm,” added Kevin Sheth, M.D., Chief of Yale’s Division of Neurocritical Care & Emergency Neurology, Director of the Yale Center of Brain & Mind Health, and Chief Medical Advisor to Astrocyte. “The paper is exciting because a novel concept, astrocyte protection, is tested in a non-human primate model of stroke that closely mirrors the clinical condition, and the positive results set the stage for immediate clinical translation.”
AST-004 is currently being evaluated in Phase 1B human safety studies, with Phase 2 efficacy studies in stroke patients planned to start in 2024.
About Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a privately held, clinical stage, drug discovery and development company dedicated to accelerating the recovery and well-being of brain injury patients. The company is committed to proving the cerebroprotective benefits of enhancing astrocyte function, and advancing breakthrough therapeutic agents for treating brain injury resulting from stroke, traumatic brain injury, concussion, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, please visit us at Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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