THE cure for Alzheimer’s could be within reach for a Timperley scientist.

Although the drug being piloted by Dr Farid Khan and his company, PharmaKure, is more than 20-years-old and was originally discovered as a candidate for treating Parkinson’s, the University of Manchester research scientist believes finding new uses for old drugs is the future.

“There is a huge problem for humanity in that there are not going to be many new future blockbuster medicines,” said Dr Khan.

The PharmaKure Chief Executive Officer, who is married with two children, said over the past 15 years, drugs companies have primarily been screening drugs with synthetic compounds, which will never work in the human body.

‘“To have active medicines you need either nature’s inspired drugs or those drugs which are already known to function in human beings – old drugs are known to be safe in humans, so they can be fast tracked as treatments for patients,” Dr Khan explained.

“Each drug has around two or three side effects, for example, Viagra was originally used for pulomonary hypertension, but it has another side effect which is very well known,” said Dr Khan.

“This is probably the only way forward so a the moment there’s a gold rush to find new uses for old drugs for a variety of diseases.”

Therefore, the past five years has seen a swathe of companies testing old drugs in order to determine if they have any unknown side effects which could bring about new cures.

PharmaKure launched its patented PK-048 drug the World Drug Repositioning Congress in Washington in December and is now looking for investors.

Dr Khan, who co-founded PharmaKure with business partner, Andrew Doig, said: “The potential for PK-048 to help alleviate the symptoms and potentially to cure Alzheimer’s disease is really exciting.

“It is fantastic to now be in a position with the company to move towards commercialisation phase with a view to licensing and forging investment partnerships.”

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