Newswise — HACKENSACK, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center’s Center for Memory Loss & Brain Health has started enrollment for a clinical trial for ATH-1017, an investigational medication for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease as of August 3, 2021. 

Ranked the #1hospital in New Jersey and the #7hospital in the New York metro area by U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll, Hackensack University Medical Center has New Jersey’s Best and only nationally-ranked Neurology & Neurosurgery programs and we are proud to contribute to the knowledge of the treatment of this disease by taking part in this groundbreaking clinical trial. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative condition that results in weakened brain connections and loss of brain cells. These problems cause dementia, which may include problems with memory, thinking and behavior.

According to clinical trial sponsor Athira Pharma, ATH-1017 enhances the HGF/MET system, one of the brain’s repair mechanisms. Enhancing HGF/MET signaling may improve brain activity, repair brain connections, reduce stress and inflammation, and rescue brain cells, which may lead to rapid recovery of memory and function. 

“ATH-1017 offers hope for patients and loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s disease, as well as for the future of dementia care,” said Manisha Parulekar, M.D., AGSF, FACP, Co-Director of the Center and Division Chief, Geriatrics, and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. “This medication is delivered through a daily injection and may have the potential to alter the course of Alzheimer’s disease.”

“ATH-1017 is an investigational drug designed to support the growth and survival of nerve cells.,” said Florian Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director of the Center and Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Neurology, Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. “This study will determine the safety and effectiveness of ATH-1017 to improve cognition in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.”

“With the number of New Jersey residents living with Alzheimer’s disease projected to rise in the coming years, we are proud to provide older adults in our communities with access to this pioneering ATH-1017 clinical trial,” said Mark Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “Participating in groundbreaking research puts us one step closer to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.”


Hackensack University Medical Center, a 771-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in New Jersey. Founded in 1888 as Bergen County's first hospital, it was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence. The academic flagship of Hackensack Meridian Health, Hackensack University Medical Center ranked #1 in New Jersey and #7 in the New York metro area by U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll, making it the only hospital in New Jersey with the #1 adult and children’s hospital rankings. Hackensack University Medical Center is also rated as High Performing in 14 specialties procedures and conditions, and conditions, and sets the standard for all New Jersey hospitals in several specialties. Highlights include: New Jersey’s only nationally-ranked Neurology & Neurosurgery and Urology programs; also ranked nationally in Cardiology & Heart Surgery. New Jersey’s Best Urology and Neurology & Neurosurgery programs, ever since 2013. New Jersey’s Best Cancer Center is John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, which is part of the NCI-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics and Orthopedics rank among the top in New Jersey. The campus is home to facilities such as John Theurer Cancer Center, the #1 hospital for cancer care in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll; the Heart & Vascular Hospital, and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, recognized as being in the top 1% of children’s hospitals in the nation and #1 children’s hospital in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-22 "Best Hospitals" Honor Roll. Hackensack University Medical Center’s comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on neuroscience, precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. 


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness center, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having more top-ranked hospitals than anyone in New Jersey, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2020-21. Hackensack University Medical Center is the only hospital in New Jersey with the #1 adult and children’s hospital rankings.

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey's best cancer center, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2020-21.  This premier cancer center is also the largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients  with all types of cancers. John Theurer Cancer Center is part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center. 

Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to ensure that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies. To learn more, visit