So far, 2019 is looking promising for Anavex Life Sciences Corp (NASDAQ:AVXL). AVXL is a stock that we have covered quite extensively here at Insider Financial. We have also had a knack for timing the stock correctly in terms of our coverage. For those that doubt us, I suggest taking a look at our history on AVXL.
We pretty much gave up on the stock in 2018. We covered it on February 9, 2018, and said that the company was facing numerous headwinds. Last year, the stock peaked at $4.35 and then the bears took control and the stock was on a steady downtrend until bottoming at $1.25 a share.
We noticed the bottoming out in AVXL and re-initiated coverage on January 3rd when the stock was at $1.73 a share. Since then, the stock is up 50%. Investors are now asking if 2019 is going to be the year that we see a major breakthrough for AVXL and ANAVEX2-73.
First up, a little background info for those that are not familiar with AVXL. Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer.
Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73, recently completed a successful Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease.
ANAVEX®2-73 also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research previously awarded Anavex a research grant, which fully funded a preclinical study to develop ANAVEX®2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
ANAVEX®3-71, which targets sigma-1 and M1 muscarinic receptors, is a promising preclinical drug candidate demonstrating disease-modifying activity against the major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid and tau pathologies. In preclinical trials, ANAVEX®3-71 has shown beneficial effects on neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction.
A new study, led by Christian Behl et. al. of the University Medical Center at Johannes Gutenberg University, in Mainz, Germany, has been published in the peer-reviewed journal, Cells (link). The current findings show for the first time that activation of Sig-1R with ANAVEX®2-73 leads to the prominent induction of the autophagy “cellular recycling” process and enhanced protein clearance in cells.
Autophagy is a cellular process that cleans cells of defective proteins and is part of a set of mechanisms that participate in proteostasis, or the balance of the protein network. Loss of proteostasis and dysfunction of the autophagy process has been closely linked to the pathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. The researchers reported:
“There is a great amount of data linking dysfunction and malfunction of autophagy to neurodegenerative disease and, consistent with its role in proteostasis, to the accumulation of protein aggregates. Thus, the modulation of autophagy has become one key pharmacological target in neurodegeneration. In fact, there are multiple overlaps of autophagy and pathogenesis pathways in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. Recently different alternative views and new pharmacological targets towards Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment are evolving and include a strong focus on the autophagy process.”
Currently trading with a market cap of $106 million, AVXL is an exciting story among small caps. With the recent independent study being completed, more people in the medical community are starting to pay closer attention to AVXL. We have said repeatedly that most biotechs and researchers have missed the root cause of Alzheimer’s and as a result, have approached treatment in the wrong manner. Anavex is the only biotech with a pathway for a cure. We believe 2019 will be a big year for AVXL.
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Disclosure: We have no position in AVXL and have not been compensated for this article.
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