Breakthrough in Alzheimer's research?

Breakthrough in Alzheimer's research?

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Biotech company announces breakthrough for new drug against Alzheimer's

The Viennese biotech company Affiris reported at its press conference yesterday about a “breakthrough in Alzheimer's therapy”. An active ingredient was discovered by chance that could stabilize the memory of Alzheimer's patients for a certain period of time. The drug had been discovered in the placebo group that had not received the dementia vaccine to be tested.

Study was supposed to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against Alzheimer's. A total of 332 Alzheimer's patients participated in the blinded placebo-controlled study. The effectiveness of the vaccine AD02 against Alzheimer's should be investigated. "Normally, saline is given as a placebo, but this was not possible for our study," reports Walter Schmidt, co-founder and managing director of Affiris, to "". Because the active solution looks cloudy. The doctors would have a clear liquid like saline noticed at the tip, so the placebo group received the vaccine solution without the active ingredient.

The aim of the study was to test whether the active substance AD02 can stabilize the memory of Alzheimer's patients. In addition, a possible effect on the hippocampus, which can be determined using biomarkers, should be investigated. Both are also known as “disease modification”.

Accidental discovery of an active ingredient against Alzheimer's When evaluating their investigation, the researchers came across surprising results: of all the placebo group, 47 percent of the participants were able to stop a negative course of the disease for 18 months. However, these study participants never received the active ingredient AD02, but only the vaccine solution. This was particularly good for patients whose dementia was still in its early stages. The biomarker test to check the stabilization of the volume of the hippocampus - this region of the brain is shrinking due to illness in Alzheimer's patients - delivered positive results. "We puzzled for a while, but then decided that the placebo was a new substance and called it AD04," Schmidt told the online edition of the newspaper. What exactly AD04 is and whether the placebo The Affiris managing director did not clarify that an adjuvant contained in many vaccinations, similar to an active ingredient enhancer, was not found. "We submitted the patents two weeks ago, I cannot provide any information on this." The placebo group had definitely not received the peptide vaccine contained in AD02. Schmidt said that AD04 is an immunomodulator that acts on the immune defense.

Further studies needed to confirm the effectiveness of the new drug against Alzheimer's “From the beginning, several drug candidates were part of our Alzheimer's therapy development program. AD04 now shows the most convincing therapeutic effect with regard to parameters that reflect behavioral problems and quality of life. Since the current results are so extraordinarily positive and consistent across the various clinical endpoints and the biomarker hippocampal volume, we expect to confirm them in further clinical studies, "Prof. Achim Schneeberger, CMO at Affiris, is quoted in a message from the pharmaceutical company .

The pharmaceutical company is now looking for financially strong partners. Because further examinations must follow, in which the results must be confirmed and AD04 must also pass the test with placebos. The dosage must also be tested. However, it will take some time before a so-called clinical phase 3 study, in which the drug is administered to a large number of patients and checked for its effectiveness, can be started.

"Our results show very clearly - with AD04 it was possible for the first time to stop the course of Alzheimer's disease by modifying the course of the disease," said Schmidt, according to the company. (Ag)

Image: Andreas Dengs, /

Author and source information

Video: Why We May Already Have a Cure for Alzheimers Disease. Wade Self. TEDxMarquetteHighSchool


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