Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (“Anavex” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Rett syndrome, and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today reported a new peer-reviewed publication in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, titled “Early treatment with an M1 and sigma-1 receptor agonist prevents cognitive decline in a transgenic rat model displaying Alzheimer-like amyloid pathology”, featuring the orally available small molecule ANAVEX®3-71 (AF710B).1

This study ascertains potential disease-modifying properties of ANAVEX®3-71 (AF710B) on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology and could be a drug candidate for a once daily oral preventive strategy.

ANAVEX®3-71 activates the sigma-1 receptor (SIGMAR1) and the M1 muscarinic receptor (M1R). Data suggests that activation of SIGMAR1 results in the restoration of homeostatic function within the body and is pivotal to restoring neural cell balance and promoting neuroplasticity.2 Previous studies of ANAVEX®3-71 have demonstrated its potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-like pathology at advanced stages of disease in animal models.3,4

ANAVEX®3-71, an orally available small molecule, has already successfully completed a Phase 1 human clinical trial demonstrating good safety and tolerability signals at all doses studied.5

In this publication, transgenic rats that develop AD-like symptoms as they age were treated with ANAVEX®3-71 for 7-months before they developed amyloid plaques, followed by a 4-week washout period. Preventative treatment with ANAVEX®3-71 reduced levels of insoluble and soluble amyloid-beta as well as plaque deposition in the aging cortex and hippocampus, areas heavily impacted by AD. Notably, the reduction in amyloid pathology was accompanied by a reduction in inflammatory glial activity which is connected to the disease cascade in AD and other dementias. ANAVEX®3-71 treatment downregulated the proinflammatory IL-1β and IL-6 cytokines, which are known to be associated with AD. Additionally, ANAVEX®3-71 treatment boosted brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which reinforces the evidence that ANAVEX®3-71 protects neurons.

Importantly, these beneficial effects were sustained after a month-long drug washout. This differentiates ANAVEX®3-71 from other therapeutic approaches and suggests long-lasting, disease-modifying effects on AD pathology. This long-lasting effect was also observed in previous animal studies of ANAVEX®3-71 at advanced stages of the disease.

The publication is consistent with previous scientific findings, including with the more advanced drug candidate ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine), which successfully completed a Phase 2b/3 study in early Alzheimer’s disease, that SIGMAR1 activation acts upstream of multiple contributors to AD and other dementias including but not limited to mitochondrial dysfunction6, oxidative stress7, impaired autophagy8 and that amyloid pathology can be reduced by M1R stimulation9.

The authors of the paper (Neurobiology of Aging 132 (2023) 220–232) from the Laboratory of Professor Cuello, MD at McGill University concluded: “This involved study could be considered as proof of principle for preventive therapies in Alzheimer’s disease and illustrates that this category of compounds, or similar effective agents, could be considered as candidates for preventive strategies to slow down the early amyloid pathology in Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that is increasingly diagnosed at preclinical stages.”

“This publication is a confirmation of the scientific depth of Anavex’s upstream SIGMAR1 platform, which gives hope to the Alzheimer’s disease community, especially for the patients, families and caregivers who fight everyday against this devastating disease for a potential disease-modifying drug candidate with a once daily oral preventive strategy. We also look forward to presenting in an upcoming major publication the complete dataset of the Phase 2b/3 Alzheimer’s disease trial of ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine), a potential next-generation precision medicine convenient once daily oral Alzheimer’s disease treatment,” said Christopher U Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. "We are also on track within our neurodevelopmental precision medicine Rett syndrome program to release top-line data of ANAVEX®2-73-RS-003 Phase 2/3 EXCELLENCE pediatric clinical trial in the current quarter of 2023.”

About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, 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 (blarcamesine), has successfully completed a Phase 2a and a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease, a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study in Parkinson's disease dementia, and both a Phase 2 and a Phase 3 study in adult patients with Rett syndrome. 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 clinical stage 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 mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation. Further information is available at www.anavex.com. You can also connect with the Company on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

For Further Information:Anavex Life Sciences Corp.Research & Business DevelopmentToll-free: 1-844-689-3939Email: info@anavex.com

Investors:Andrew J. BarwickiInvestor Relations

Tel: 516-662-9461Email: andrew@barwicki.com

1 Orciani C, Do Carmo S, Foret MK, et al. Early treatment with an M1 and sigma-1 receptor agonist prevents cognitive decline in a transgenic rat model displaying Alzheimer-like amyloid pathology [published online ahead of print, 2023 Sep 26]. Neurobiol Aging. 2023;132:220-232. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2023.09.0102 Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology Volume 964 (2017) Sigma Receptors: Their Role in Disease and as Therapeutic Targets.3 Fisher A, Bezprozvanny I, Wu L, et al. AF710B, a Novel M1/σ1 Agonist with Therapeutic Efficacy in Animal Models of Alzheimer’s Disease. Neurodegener Dis. 2016;16(1-2):95-110. doi:10.1159/0004408644 Hall H, Iulita MF, Gubert P, et al. AF710B, an M1/sigma-1 receptor agonist with long-lasting disease-modifying properties in a transgenic rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2018;14(6):811-823. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2017.11.0095 Fadiran EO, Hammond E, Tran J, et al. Concentration-QTc Relationship from a Single Ascending Dose Study of ANAVEX3-71, a Novel Sigma-1 Receptor and Allosteric M1 Muscarinic Receptor Agonist in Development for the Treatment of Frontotemporal Dementia, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's Disease. Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev. 2023;12(9):888-901. doi:10.1002/cpdd.13036 Lahmy, V., Long, R., Morin, D., Villard, V., Maurice, T., 2014. Mitochondrial protection by the mixed muscarinic/sigma1 ligand ANAVEX2-73, a tetrahydrofuran derivative, in Aβ25-35 peptide-injected mice, a nontransgenic Alzheimer’s disease model. Front. Cell. Neurosci. 8, 463. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2014.004637 Arimon, M., Takeda, S., Post, K.L., Svirsky, S., Hyman, B.T., Berezovska, O., 2015. Oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation are upstream of amyloid pathology. Neurobiol. Dis. 84, 109–119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2015.06.0138 Christ MG, Clement AM, Behl C. The Sigma-1 Receptor at the Crossroad of Proteostasis, Neurodegeneration, and Autophagy. Trends Neurosci. 2020;43(2):79-81. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2019.12.0029 Zhao LX, Chen MW, Qian Y, Yang QH, Ge YH, Chen HZ, Qiu Y. M1 Muscarinic Receptor Activation Rescues β-Amyloid-Induced Cognitive Impairment through AMPA Receptor GluA1 Subunit. Neuroscience. 2019 Jun 1;408:239-247. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.04.007. Epub 2019 Apr 11. PMID: 30981860

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