Alzheimer's disease: A new small molecule approach to treatment

Apr 13, 2009

New therapeutic approaches in Alzheimer's disease are urgently needed. Work led by Professor Mark Pepys FRS over more than 20 years has identified a protein known as serum amyloid P component (SAP) as a possible therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease. In collaboration with Roche he developed a new small molecule drug, CPHPC, which specifically targets SAP and removes it from the blood. In the exciting new work reported now in the PNAS, the Pepys team together with Professor Martin Rossor and colleagues from the Dementia Research Centre of UCL's Institute of Neurology, have shown that the drug also removes SAP from the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

In this first study of the in patients with Alzheimer's disease, CPHPC was given to 5 individuals for 3 months. There was the usual depletion of SAP from the blood, seen in all subjects receiving this treatment, but also remarkable disappearance of SAP from the . Laboratory tests revealed the molecular mechanism responsible for this unique effect and also disclosed for the first time the way in which SAP accumulates in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.

Administration of CPHPC and the removal of SAP had no side effects in the patients with Alzheimer's disease. CPHPC has also been given for several years to patients with other diseases without any adverse effects. "The safety of CPHPC, together with the novel action of the drug in removing SAP from the brain, is very encouraging", said Professor Rossor.

Although the 3 month treatment period was too short to show any clinical benefit there was no obvious deterioration. Longer and larger scale clinical studies are being planned to confirm safety and seek evidence of benefit to the patients.

"The complete disappearance of SAP from the brain during treatment with CPHPC could not have been confidently predicted" said Professor Pepys, "and the drug, also to our surprise, entered the brain. Coupled with the absence of any side effects, these new findings strongly support further clinical studies to see whether longer term treatment with CPHPC protects against the inexorable mental decline in patients with Alzheimer's disease."

In December 2008 Roche divested CPHPC entirely to Pentraxin Therapeutics Ltd, a UCL spin out company founded by Professor Pepys. In February 2009 Pentraxin Therapeutics Ltd licensed CPHPC to GlaxoSmithKline for treatment of systemic amyloidosis, a rare fatal . Pentraxin retains the rights to CPHPC for all other indications.

Source: University College London (news : web)

Explore further: Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Early study reveals promising Alzheimer's disease treatment

Jul 18, 2008

A drug once approved as an antihistamine in Russia improved thinking processes and ability to function in patients with Alzheimer's disease in a study conducted there, said an expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. ...

Scientists find new cause of Alzheimer's

Apr 19, 2006

Belgium researchers say they are the first to demonstrate the quantity of amyloid protein in brain cells is a major factor of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's drug begins human trials

Jun 27, 2007

Human clinical trials are under way for a U.S. drug to treat Alzheimer's disease, based on the design of a Purdue University researcher.

Appealing the death sentence for brain cells

May 29, 2008

A new drug candidate discovered by Tel Aviv University researcher Prof. Illana Gozes may lead to an effective treatment against the debilitative Alzheimer's disease. This compound could also treat a number of diseases where ...

Study finds certain drugs cut Alzheimer's

Dec 06, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've identified anti-hypertensive agents that can prevent cognitive decline and amyloid neuropathology in Alzheimer patients.

Recommended for you

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

4 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Apr 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

Apr 18, 2014

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Apr 18, 2014

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

Apr 18, 2014

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.