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: Drug research and development more efficient than expected

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

Drug research and development more efficient than expected

23 hours ago

Drug R&D costs have increased substantially in recent decades, while the number of new drugs has remained fairly constant, leading to concerns about the sustainability of drug R&D and question about the factors that could ...

Use new meningitis vaccines only for outbreaks

Feb 26, 2015

(AP)—A U.S. panel on Thursday recommended that two new meningitis vaccines only be used for rare outbreaks, resisting tearful pleas to give it routinely to teens and college students.

New antibiotic avycaz approved

Feb 26, 2015

(HealthDay)—The combination antibiotic Avycaz (ceftazidime-avibactam) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with complicated infections of the intra-abdominal area or urinary tract, ...

Tagging drugs to fight counterfeit medicines

Feb 25, 2015

The U.S. and other countries are enacting rules to clamp down on the sales of fake pharmaceuticals, which pose a public health threat. But figuring out a system to track and authenticate legitimate drugs still faces significant ...

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.