Entirely new drug for Alzheimer’s now being tested on patients

Sep 24, 2010 By Anneli Waara

An entirely new type of pharmaceutical substance for Alzheimer’s disease developed by Uppsala scientists is now starting to be clinically tested in the US. It attacks the early stage of the protein filaments that cause the disorder, so-called protofibrills.

“It would be a giant step forward to have a drug that actually targets the fundamental cause, as opposed to merely alleviating the symptoms, as today’s medicines do,” says Lars Lannfelt, professor of geriatrics at Uppsala University.

Lars Lannfelt is very optimistic. This is the first time a substance that directly attacks protofibrills is being clinically tested. The drug was developed in collaboration with the small Swedish biotech company BioArctic Neuroscience AB and the Japanese drug company Eisai. Just over 80 Alzheimer’s patients are included in the clinical trial.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by abnormal protein build-up in the brain, so-called plaques. They consist of long strands of , fibrills. The Uppsala researchers have previously shown that the prime danger is the pre-stage of these filaments, and they have therefore focused their research on finding a drug candidate, a monoclonal antibody, that specifically targets the pre-stage, so-called protofibrills.

“One of these , mAb158, has proven to completely inhibit the disease in mice,” says Lars Lannfelt.

The antibody has since been further developed to reduce the risk of triggering a reaction from the human , and in a few years the scientists will find out whether it has the same positive impact on humans as on mice. If the results are positive, the next step will be to involve considerably more patients.

Explore further: Italy bans Novartis flu vaccine after suspicious deaths

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Major breakthrough may pave the way for therapeutic vaccines

Dec 17, 2009

It should be possible to use therapeutic vaccines to create both cheap and effective drugs for diseases like cancer and allergies. One problem in developing such vaccines has previously been the lack of adjuvants, substances ...

An Alzheimer's vaccine?

Nov 12, 2007

Could a new vaccine be the key to stopping Alzheimer’s disease? A new research study from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) shows that immunization could offer a way to blunt or even prevent the deadly, memory-robbing ...

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.