HARTFORD–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced that Allyx Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in New Haven, was named “Innovator of the Month” for their ongoing development of a novel therapeutic approach for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The company’s lead compound, ALX-001, is a highly selective, first-in-class, synapse-targeted, disease-modifying oral therapy in development for neurodegenerative diseases. Founded in 2019, Allyx Therapeutics recently presented new data and announced its plans to begin Phase 2 research studies.

“A diagnosis for a neurodegenerative disease can be devastating, especially given the limited treatments available. The team at Allyx is doing important work to develop a new, highly innovative treatment that aims to preserve and protect brain synapses for people living with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. It has the potential to be a gamechanger for patients, and I look forward to seeing their continued growth in our state,” said Murphy.

“Even with recent progress, current treatment options for people living with Alzheimer’s disease are limited in their ability to slow cognitive decline. We believe that the unique mechanism of ALX-001 has the potential to have a greater impact on cognition and function, while avoiding some of the well-known consequences associated with other therapies that target amyloid beta,” said Allyx Therapeutics co-founder and CEO Stephen Bloch, M.D. “In addition, because our compound is being developed as an oral medicine, we believe it will be markedly easier for patients and caregivers to access and stay on therapy.”

One of the well-known characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease is increased levels of the protein amyloid beta in the brain, which is believed to limit the ability of cells to communicate with one another and cause loss of cognition and function that worsens over time. Blocking the brain’s mGluR5 receptor has been shown to halt the ability of amyloid beta to damage the communication network of neurons. ALX-001 does not impact normal receptor function and alters the activity of protein at a specific location. These characteristics make ALX-001 a first-in-class compound that has disease-specific activity to benefit patients, while avoiding challenges experienced by other Alzheimer’s disease medicines.

Murphy believes entrepreneurship and innovation are the building blocks for a strong economy. In the U.S. Senate, he has introduced legislation to incentivize angel investors to put more money into startup companies—the Angel Tax Credit Act and the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act. Startup companies create an average of 2 million jobs each year.