The Georgia Straight: Vancouver company repurposes Soviet Union doping drug to cure kidney disease

by Kate Wilson on August 1st, 2019

Today, Algernon announced that Bemethyl (NP-135) and Bromantane (NP-160)—both drugs developed by the Soviet Union to boost the performance of its military and Olympic athletes—are effective for treating chronic kidney disease (CKD), and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): inflammation caused by a buildup of fat in the liver.

The company confirmed in multiple animal studies that the two substances were able to reduce fibrosis—a kind of scarring caused by a buildup of connective tissue—at highly statistically significant rates. A press release suggests that the drugs outperformed known anti-fibrotic agents named Telmisartan and Cenicriviroc.

“We are currently planning off-label phase two clinical trials for both drugs, and, pending the data, the company will begin the process for regulatory approval with the USFDA,” said Christopher J. Moreau, CEO of Algernon. “We also intend to publish our data in a peer-reviewed journal shortly. It is intriguing to think that drugs developed by the Soviet Union during the cold war could end up being viable treatment options for both NASH and CKD on a global scale.”