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Monday, February 15, 2010

Rember (Methylene Blue) For Alzheimer's, the Hype Continues


Here is a direct quote from the John Hopkins Health Alert email dated Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 6:02 AM:

Many Alzheimer's researchers are targeting other potential causes [of Alzheimer's], like tau protein tangles and inflammation. They're also investigating drugs that treat other ailments. The most promising new dementia therapy in this vein is methylthioninium (Rember).....

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Rember (Methylene Blue) For Alzheimer's, the Hype Continues

In July, 2008, TauRx was one of the lead presenters at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD). Their claims about Rember lit a fire in the Alzheimer's community worldwide. The news direct from ICAD seemed promising:
New research findings point to a new treatment that appears to slow the progress of Alzheimer's by 81% over a year. The product - rember - is the first drug to act to arrest the progression of Alzheimer's disease by targeting the tangles which are highly correlated with the disease.

At the time, I tried to contact TaxRx several times, and never received a single response via telephone or email. A quick check of the TauRx website will yield nothing. The site has not been updated since July, 2008, the same day as the ICAD presentation and press release.

Tau Rx spokesman, Professor Claude Wischik, claimed that Rember dissolved tau, and that a preliminary study in humans suggested that a new formulation of the drug methylene blue might slow or arrest the disease process among people with early Alzheimer's.

Methylthioninium may dissolve and prevent tau tangles -- aberrations that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients as their disease progresses (like amyloid plaques). Tau protein normally helps keep pathways for brain cell nutrients straight, like train tracks. But in people who have Alzheimer's, the protein tangles up, which prevents nutrients from moving through cells.
The findings of the reported study were never published in a reputable medical journal. In other words, the Alzheimer's Association accepted the findings without any scientific due diligence. And, the scientific due diligence never happened.

Just so you know, methylthioninium has been used to treat urinary tract infections (among other things) and has been around since the 1930s.

Now to the latest news development.

Provepharm announced a few days ago the successful validation by Novasep of a cGMP manufacturing process for the Proveblue(R) (methylthioninium chloride) active pharmaceutical ingredient. They said, this is a major step in bringing compliant methylene-blue-based drugs to market.

At the same time, Provepharm announces that the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has accepted the Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) for Provepharm's Methylthioninium chloride Proveblue(R) solution for injection under the Community centralized procedure.
The news release is dated February 11, 2010.

I went to the page containing the news, and clicked on the link in the news release that said, the Company intends to make Proveblue(R) available for research against neuro-degenerative diseases. When I clicked the link it took me to the ProvePharm website. The Provepharm website is a great big ad for Proveblue. A click on news and then on press statement took me to the lastest press release. Lo and behold, the release is dated April, 2008.

You might be wondering why I am writing about Rember again. Well, like most people dealing with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease I am interested in Rember.

Rember did receive its imprimatur from the Alzheimer's Association at its internation conference in 2008 -- ICAD. I suppose the Alzheimer's Association has not commented about Rember since 2008 because there is nothing new to report. I believe it would be helpful if they would clarify the situation with a current update. After all, they did feature TauRx and their research at ICAD.

Here is the real catalyst of today's article.

I received an email this morning from John Hopkins -- the Health Alert. The title of this alert is The Potential of Repurposed Drugs to Slow Alzheimer's. More than half of the email is devoted to Rember.

Here is a direct quote from the John Hopkins Health Alert email dated Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 6:02 AM:

Many Alzheimer's researchers are targeting other potential causes, like tau protein tangles and inflammation. They're also investigating drugs that treat other ailments. The most promising new dementia therapy in this vein is methylthioninium (Rember), a form of which has been used to treat urinary tract infections (among other things) since the 1930s.
If you care to read the article on the John Hopkins website, here is the link to The Potential of Repurposed Drugs to Slow Alzheimer’s. The article is dated February 15, 2010 and is posted in Memory on the John Hopkins website.

I remember hearing young people saying, "Don't believe the hype" many years ago.

The Alzheimer's Association, John Hopkins, TauRx, Provepharm. Wazz UP?

Nobody would like to see Rember succeed as a treatment for Alzheimer's more than I would. For now, all I can say is, the story just won't die.

If John Hopkins is going to give this story street cred they ought to check the facts and bring us up to date. Instead, they email everyone on their Health Alert email list with stale news and information. Then, John Hopkins reposts their original article from 2008 on their website with a new and current date. It is the same exact article without a single change.

Ditto, the Alzheimer's Association. They put their imprimatur on the Company, they owe their followers an update. In fact, as the lead organization in the World, they owe the entire worldwide Alzheimer's community an update.

I wonder if either of these organizations understands how many Alzheimer's caregivers are following Rember and hoping for a miracle? Hope is one thing, creating a false sense of hope is very different.

I continue to get hits on this website daily from people looking for information on Rember.

See the Alzheimer's Association response -- Alzheimer's Association on Rember -- Dr William Thies


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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Bob is a recognized Influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.