Using donepezil to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease?
Cutting-edge science and differentiation
Eisai, in a marketing partnership with Pfizer wanted to assess whether there was evidence that donepezil exerted neuroprotective effects that were unrelated to an inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity. Following a search for previously-unknown relationships between data, that included novel pharmacophore modeling studies, McCormack’s methods identify for the first time the possibility of significant neuroprotective effects of donepezil that are unrelated to the drug’s established role as an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase activity.
Clinical implications of new teachings
Elucidation of the pathways and mediators involved in the putative neuronal protective effects of donepezil unexpectedly gave rise to the new prospect of using donepezil as a diagnostic aid for Alzheimer’s disease. This opportunity was not pursued.
Several patient subgroups were identified in which novel benefits could be anticipated as a direct consequence of the potential neuroprotective effects that were proposed following McCormack’s CEME treatment.