ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. firm Pipex Pharmaceuticals said Thursday it has been awarded a government grant to test its Alzheimer's drug Coprexa.
The specialty pharmaceutical company said it has received $306,172 from the National Institute of Health's National Institute on Aging to conduct a mouse study of its anti-copper agent Coprexa to treat Alzheimer's disease.
The well-established Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease will be used in the study, Pipex said.
One group of mice in the study will be given the drug before the formation of the brain plaque associated with Alzheimer's disease, to determine if Coprexa can prevent the disorder.
The study will build on an increasing body of evidence that so-called "free copper" -- or copper not bound to proteins -- in blood serum is a key marker in Alzheimer's disease.
In fact, a recent U.S. study of 3,718 patients done over six years, showed that subjects who took a vitamin containing a 1.6-mg copper supplement, combined with a diet high in saturated fat and trans fat experienced the equivalent of 19 years of mental decline, Pipex said.